EXTRACT

According to NEC members, it was decided that an announcement of this magnitude could not be delivered through the usual channels and that the president should inform the nation.

Ramaphosa's allies actually suggested this to avoid ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who is constitutionally empowered to communicate decisions of the NEC, delivering the message. They were concerned Magashule might be too radical or even clumsy in articulating the decision, provoking panic in the country and the markets.

Ramaphosa's supporters were also worried about perceptions in the ANC that the president was not taking ownership of the Nasrec resolutions, and that his detractors were using this to motivate for an early national general council. On the land issue in particular, Ramaphosa had been walking on eggshells and he was advised to take a bolder stance.

There were several reasons for President Cyril Ramaphosa's late-night statement on Tuesday in which he declared that the ANC would finalise a proposed amendment to the constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. It was apparently the overwhelming view of those attending the ANC's two-day national executive committee (NEC) lekgotla that the party yield to popular sentiment that the constitution be "more explicit" about expropriation without compensation. Unlike at the ANC's 54th national conference in December and land summit in May, there were no misgivings or dissenting views about the implications of tinkering with section 25 of the constitution, which deals with property rights.The public hearings on the land question and the ANC's internal polling provided irrefutable evidence that the majority of people were in favour of an amendment. According to NEC members, it was decided that an announcement of this magnitude could not be delivered through the usua...

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