The unearthing of a year-old report by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into corruption in the land reform programme underlines where the real problems with solving SA’s land question lie. The report looked at 145 farms between 2011 and 2017 where there was a reason to believe that corruption had occurred. It found numerous instances where beneficiaries who got farms were not entitled to them; those who got farms to live on and work did not live there at all; prices for land was inflated by government officials and sellers; and weak systems and controls left the programme wide open to abuse. Little has been done by way of corrective action since the report was handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa in March 2018. The SIU, which has the power to investigate state corruption on the basis of proclamations issued by the president, does not have the authority itself to bring charges against people involved in wrongdoing. That is up to the National Prosecuting Authority, which as we...

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