That façade clearly could not be kept up through the land hearings, where the ANC leadership was upstaged by a more aggressive EFF leadership. It was clear from the hearings that the overwhelming majority of participants wanted the constitution to be changed, and were not buying the half-hearted stance of the ANC.

That is why the ANC was desperate for Ramaphosa to uncharacteristically be the one to announce the ANC's new-found courage to change the constitution to effect the expropriation of land without compensation. Let us remember that the ANC has rejected this motion many times over the years and did not even discuss it at its policy conference a mere 12 months ago. The resolution even at Nasrec in December emerged from the floor and was rushed through without any plan of implementation whatsoever.

The elevation of the land question to a central election issue has made the ANC act in a desperate fashion, exposing policy schizophrenia. There is no gainsaying the fact that the land issue is central to unlocking economic freedom for the majority of South Africans, and for this reason it's actually a terrible record that the ANC has presided over the redistribution of no more than 10% of the land since 1994. This is despite the constitution in its current form allowing for a certain amount of expropriation of land without compensation.This reality, it may be assumed, is what prompted the president to announce to a group of Afrikaners early this year that there would be no need to change the constitution in order to achieve land redistribution. This appears to have been opportunistic if not utterly untruthful. The ANC seemed desperate to say what the Afrikaners wanted to hear, in its quest to tailor-make its position depending on who is listening. This immediately undermined the pa...

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