President Cyril Ramaphosa will surely have reinforced rather than allayed anxieties about his government’s draft expropriation law when he acknowledged last week — in curiously unabashed terms — that it could indeed herald “future jeopardy”. 

Who, one wonders, was comforted by his unnerving qualification that, well, “we’ve had past jeopardy on this side of the table”. (Ramaphosa was responding to a question in parliament from Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald, who was concerned about the investment-discouraging consequences of the bill’s expropriation without compensation provisions. The ANC argues — as the president himself put it — that they are a necessary part of a legal instrument that “is critical to addressing a hunger that people have for land”.)  ..

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