The parliamentary majority decision to amend the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation has provoked extreme views. In some quarters it is seen as the silver bullet that will miraculously and single-handedly undo the horrendous original sin of colonial and apartheid-era dispossession. In other quarters it is presented as the about-to-be original sin of the postapartheid dispensation. In the entirely irresponsible rhetoric of a Freedom Front Plus MP in parliament last week, we were told that an era of interracial bloodshed is upon us. The MP in question even promised to run off to report us to Donald Trump. Beware of what you ask for. It is time for cooler heads and a sense of collective commitment to our common future as South Africans, black and white. Whatever parliament decides in regard to a constitutional amendment (and we expect it to be a minor amendment), a complementary, general law of application to guide all expropriations will still be required...

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