To understand the land question SA is grappling with, you must understand the ANC’s history. There is considerable context behind the ANC’s resolution on land expropriation, passed last year at Nasrec in the hours after Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president of a weakened party. Even at the time, in late December, the resolution was so controversial that ANC members were caught on video nearly coming to fisticuffs over it. It is entirely unclear if Ramaphosa was in favour of the ANC resolution on land. But either way, as the newly elected president, he had been dealt the hand and had to play the cards. Of course, this land issue wasn’t the first decision to split the party. As Africa’s oldest liberation movement, the ANC has a long and chequered history. Like any party, it has been racked by division, but its early leaders had a strong commitment to principle and were clear about values. In 1912, Sol Plaatje played a key role in the founding of the SA Native National Congress (SANNC)...

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