While the West turns a blind eye, South Africa is embarking on the same path that led to Zimbabwe’s economic and humanitarian catastrophe. On February 27, the South African parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of a motion that will begin the process of amending the country’s Constitution to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation.
The motion was introduced by Julius Malema, leader of the radical Marxist party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who in 2016 stated that he was “not calling for the slaughter of white people — at least for now.” Malema and his followers currently hold only 25 of the 400 seats in the South African National Assembly, yet his motion was backed by the ruling African National Congress (ANC), whose leader, newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa, had earlier pledged to pursue a policy of “radical economic transformation” that will speed up expropriation of land without compensation — taking land from white farmers and giving it to black South Africans.
Although cloaked by the term “land reform” and vague promises that the wholesale expropriation would be managed by the government in a way that would not damage South Africa’s economy, the rhetoric and policy are nearly identical to that used by former president Robert Mugabe to implement Zimbabwe’s disastrous land redistribution program in the 1980s. There, white farms were forcibly occupied, their owners driven off, and many murdered, raped, and tortured. Millions of black farm workers were left without employment and reduced to starvation. Zimbabwe was once so rich in agricultural production that it was a major food exporter, dubbed the “bread basket” of Southern Africa, yet within five years the country was unable to feed its people.
The confiscation resolution has accelerated attacks on white owned farms throughout South Africa. Over the past 12 months, more than 90 white farmers were killed in 340 attacks, making farming more dangerous than being a police officer. Immediately after the parliamentary vote, EFF thugs occupied white-owned farms across the country, murdering, raping, and beating the occupants (including black workers to “teach them a lesson about cooperating with the criminals who stole our land”).