ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: DAILY DISPATCH/MARK ANDREWS
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: DAILY DISPATCH/MARK ANDREWS

If the ANC continues to pander to its "radical economic transformation" (RET) faction, there will be nothing left of the economy to transform. The latest dip into the RET lucky packet has produced a proposal to amend the proposed constitutional amendment on land expropriation without compensation. A constitutional amendment, mind, that arose from the ANC itself. Confused?

The party’s brains trust has decided to sideline the courts in the process of deciding what, if any, compensation should be attached to the expropriation of land for restitution. Instead, it puts that power in the hands of the executive.

Of course, legislation already allows for expropriation — it’s just not something the government ever bothered to test.

Which goes to the second issue: the ANC says the amendment is necessary because the courts delay land reform. Only, the panel appointed by the executive to look at this very issue pointed the finger at the state’s abysmal lack of capacity. It’s the kind of incoherence that makes Irvin Jim’s tweets look positively Aristotelian by way of logic.

The final insult is the suggestion that SA should support the change, because it would prevent Zimbabwe-style land grabs. But if the spectre of Zimbabwe lies anywhere, it’s in the ANC’s attempt to bigfoot the courts — and to rely on a veiled threat of this sort to get its way.