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“… ‘We have made a covenant with death and with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves’.”
Agitprop Active Measures at Work
Those of us who attended the parliamentary hearings regarding the African National Congress (ANC) government’s plans to confiscate farms, were given a classic example of how communist agitprop (agitation-propaganda) active measures works.
Bussed-in Party Agitators
Huge crowds of uniformed EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) and ANC (African National Congress) rent-a-mobs were being bussed-in hours before the event even began. There was a party atmosphere (in more ways than one) and the venue (a large Apostolic Faith Mission Church) was strewn with litter. The disruptive mobs made it hard for any Capetonians to access the venue to give verbal testimony to the parliamentary sub-committee gathered there. Hundreds were not even able to get through the door and milled around outside, including members of City council, etc.
Confusion in Communications and Changed Venue
Parliament had originally been advertised as the venue for the hearings, but barely a day before the event, a new venue was announced, leading to much confusion. Considering how many municipal buildings and city halls and how parliament itself was available to the government, it is inexplicable why they had to rent a church venue. Except, perhaps, that they would prefer to have a church venue trashed by their rent-a-mob than a government building.
Free Food for Agitprop Rent-A-Mob
It was then pointed out that this venue was ideal for the purposes of the EFF and ANC as it was just across the road from a KFC and MacDonald’s. Reportedly, many of the EFF and ANC rent-a-mob members had been promised free KFC lunches and from the vast amounts of fast-food litter strewn around the grounds of the church after lunch that certainly seemed to be the case.
Considering that each citizen who wanted to give verbal testimony was limited to 3 minutes each and that five hours had been allocated (from 11am to 4pm), a maximum of 100 people could have spoken. As it was, with the delays and disruptions, something less than 80 out of over 2,000 people who were crammed into the church were able to be given any kind of hearing.
Parliamentary Hearings Regulations
Kicking off the Hearing, the Chairman of the proceedings informed everyone that this was a sitting of parliament and therefore everyone needed to behave accordingly and no politicising, shouting, clapping, booing, or any other disruptive behaviour would be tolerated.
Cancelling the Promised Afrikaans Translation
The Chairman assured us that the parliamentarians sitting on the platform were only present to listen and they would not be saying a word all day, as they had come to hear the people of Cape Town on this matter. This was then repeated in Xhosa. When the translator was about to repeat the introduction in Afrikaans, he was told not to bother.
Remember That we are in a House of God
After telling us that the members of parliament would not say a word all day, the Chairman gave each parliamentarian an opportunity to introduce themselves. MP Steve Swart of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) greeted everyone in the Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and reminded all present that we were gathered in a House of God and should behave accordingly. There was some abuse shouted at him from some of the mob gathered.
Marxist Sloganeering by Members of the Parliamentary Committee
Then followed the incredible scene of one EFF (Everything For Free) party member after another of the parliamentary committee making rousing political statements and shouting slogans encouraging huge mob hysteria, screams and dancing by their unruly supporters in the venue.
Considering that the EFF obtained only 6% of the votes country-wide in the last National Elections and much less than that in Cape Town, it was extraordinary to see that 12 of the 23 members of the parliamentary committee were EFF.
DA Absent from the Fight
Although the Democratic Alliance (DA) are meant to be the majority party in the Western Cape, we only noticed one person representing the DA stand up from the floor to give any reaction to the proposed amendment of Section 25 of the constitution. We did see a gathering of people in DA shirts with their distinctive blue banners, across the street but we did not see them inside the venue, nor did we hear from them. It would appear that the Democratic Alliance was absent from this fight.
Marxist Prejudice on Display at Hearings
The vast majority of those chosen by the chairman to represent our concerns in the Cape were uniformed EFF and ANC rent-a-mob. Very few supporters of the ACDP, Freedom Front, or Cape Party were granted an opportunity to speak and almost no DA supporters were in evidence inside the venue.
Throughout the 5 hours of this hearing the chairman continued to choose uniformed EFF and ANC people as the predominant amount of members of the “public permitted” to give verbal testimony. Time and again, one would hear the chairman choose speakers by saying “the man with the red beret”, “the man wearing the yellow ANC t-shirt”, “the lady with the ANC headdress”, “the man in the red EFF shirt!”, “the man in the red EFF jacket”, “the man wearing the ANC shirt!” and so on!
Political Realities in the Cape
At the Bi-election last year in Brackenfell, the DA received about 70% of the vote, the Cape Party received 19% of the vote, the Freedom Front received 9% of the vote and the ACDP, ANC and EFF all received less than 1% of the vote. That was just one major area of Cape Town, Brackenfell, but there is no doubt that the majority of voters in Cape Town support the DA and only a very small minority support the EFF. You would never had known that from the so-called hearings in Goodwood last Saturday.
Verbal and Physical Assault
Although there were quite a fair number of Cape Party supporters wearing their distinctive shirts, none were selected to speak. In the end when one woman supporting the Cape Party, but not wearing any identification, stood up to speak, she was actually assaulted by members of the rent-a-mob in the upper gallery! When Jack Miller of the Cape Party stood up to speak, the abusive threats and shouting so drowned him out, that it was hard to hear most of what he said.
Contrast of Reactions
Everyone listened quietly and respectfully to the endless repetition of radical communist rhetoric and repeating of mindless slogans, yet the moment anyone started to comment critically on the proposed amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution, they were shouted down by increasingly loud and abusive threats and insults.
Loud Abusive Heckling Tolerated
Although the chairman, on numerous occasions, said that he will not warn the people again to have no shouting, booing, or heckling, the abusive heckling, threats, shouting and blatant politicisation was tolerated until the noise was so deafening that you could barely hear what individuals were saying, despite the use of microphones and a PA system.
Marxist Hijackings of Proceedings
Looking around the chaotic scene inside the Friends of God Church in Goodwood, one could see huge sways of the area dominated by the red berets of the EFF, or the yellow shirts, jackets and head dresses of the ANC. One could also see many of the young people, some actually just teenagers, sleeping in the church. Evidently their purpose was not to come and listen, or to speak, but merely to occupy seats to ensure that most of the Capetonians who came to participate in these hearings would not have space inside and would be forced to remain voiceless outside.
The Joint Constitutional Review Committee’s public hearings on amending Section 25 of the Constitution seemed to have been a complete fraud because, even before the hearings began in the Western Cape, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that, no matter what, the ANC was going ahead with expropriation of land from whites without compensation.
Farce and Deliberate Wasting of Time
It was a farce because no attempt was made to enforce the rules and blatant politicisation and slogan-shouting. Mob-rule was not only tolerated, but actually even encouraged by members of the committee. Instead of reasoned debate and discussion, considering facts and evidence of case studies in recent history, repetitive shouting of slogans and deliberate wasting of time ensured that the majority of Capetonians who had come to contribute to the discussion were not able to be heard.
Failure to Allow Capetonians to be Heard
It was plainly a failure if the intention had been to investigate whether it was even necessary to amend Article 25 of the Constitution, considering that they tolerated mobs of uniformed political agitators to fill much of the venue and to dominate the vast majority of the hearings.
As a Missionary, who has served suffering people throughout Africa for over 37 years, it is clear to me that the planned Expropriation Without Compensation would be counter-productive. In every case where expropriation without compensation has been implemented, the result has been far greater poverty and suffering for the poor and most vulnerable.
Case Studies in Recent History
The case studies include: Stalin’s Soviet Union where dekulakisation land reform resulted in the hunger plague which killed 11 million people and displaced 18 million. Red China where Mao Tse Tung’s Great Cultural Revolution destroyed millions of lives, thousands of years of Chinese history and culture and led to widespread famine. The Red Terror under Mengistu in Ethiopia. The disastrous land reforms of Julius Nyerere in Tanzania. The catastrophic famine that resulted from Samora Machel’s communist land reform in Mozambique. The complete destruction of the once agriculturally rich food exporting Angola and most recently, Robert Mugabe’s catastrophic land confiscations in neighbouring Zimbabwe.
Political Power Built on the Backs of the Poor
In every single case dictators accumulated more power; even while they violated their promises and oppressed the very people they claimed to be serving.
Guaranteed Pathway to Starvation
Land Expropriation is always disastrous. Evicting capable, experienced farmers from land their families have carved out of wilderness and thorn bushes and cultivated, curtails food production and creates hardships and unemployment. Socialist land reform always leads to starvation in the cities.
The Goal is Not Farming But Looting
Farming is hard work and it takes expertise and experience. As the Zimbabwe experience showed, most of those advocating expropriation without compensation are not interested in getting up early to plough the fields and milk the cows. Most are not interested in cultivating crops. Most just want to loot productive farms, smash the equipment, burn the homes and then go back to the city to watch TV.
Pathway to Disaster
Recent history demonstrates the disaster of government interference in the economy. It also demonstrates the disaster of breaking God’s Commands. “Thou shalt not steal.” “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods.”
Consider the Casualties
Missionaries are busy caring for the casualties of such irresponsible political decisions in Zimbabwe, the Congo and other socialist experiments. Let us not follow in the footsteps of failure.
Why Disrupt Productive Farms When the State Has Vastly More Land Available?
The South African government is in control of vast amounts of land which are unoccupied and unproductive. Rather than settle and develop those lands under government control, they prefer to disrupt productive farms and evict experienced farmers. The South African government has more than 4,000 farms at their disposal which they have acquired over the last 24 years on the “willing buyer, willing seller” basis, which have not yet been reallocated to any farmers.
A Cynical Policy Designed to Distract Voters from the Failure of Government
We suspect that the present policy of expropriation without compensation is being cynically promoted to distract voters from the failure of government and the looting of this country by excessive taxation, inflation and corruption.
A Christian Response to Race Politics
Race politics is highly irresponsible. We need to learn to love our neighbour, not to covet and envy and hate and resent. We need a Christian work ethic, not socialist greed and yet another failed state.
Waste of Taxpayer’s Hard Earned Money
The billions of Rands squandered by the ANC on VIP protection for parliamentarians and the billions squandered by the ANC on bailing out South African Airways (SAA) and the billions squandered bailing out the state controlled ESKOM, electricity provider, would be better spent investing in agriculture and training rural farmers and other entrepreneurs.
Private Initiatives by Farmers are Achieving More than Government Policies
AgriSA in their 2018 Transformation Report, released in April this year, reported on spending over R331 Million on transformation initiatives nationally, with 109,059 black farmers benefiting from their training and development, mentorship and farming initiatives. It is quite clear that private enterprise initiatives, such as these, are a far more effective and sustainable model than the failed state land grabs which have only led to greater poverty and starvation. This is clearly evident everywhere it has been implemented.
Illegal and Unconstitutional Political Opportunism
Expropriation Without Compensation is in blatant violation of our Constitution. It is illegal by our own Bill of Rights and laws. It is dangerous to erode our Constitutional safeguards. It would be catastrophic to break our own laws for political opportunism.
It would be economic suicide to violate the Laws of God and the laws of economics. To chase away employers, investors and tourists would result in millions more unemployed and much greater suffering and even starvation. It would be insane to destroy our productive agricultural sector with this highly irresponsible political scheme.
Race Hate Betrays South Africa
Expropriation Without Compensation would be a betrayal of the vision of the united, colour-blind South Africa, where: “Never, never, never again will any South African be discriminated against on the basis of their race!”
Innocent Until Proven Guilty in Court by Due Process
It is a fundamental principle of justice that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Due process of law is essential. Checks and balances are vital. No person should be deprived of their property without due process in court, with all reasonable opportunities to defend themselves against any and all charges.
It Is Irrational to Pronounce a Whole Race of People Guilty
One cannot pronounce a whole people group guilty of any crime! It is not rational, nor is it fair. If any individual has stolen, or expropriated without compensation, let that be tested in court in accordance with the law. Do not do anything against your neighbour that you would not want done to yourself. Do unto others what you want done to yourself.
Restitution is Personal Not Political
Restitution must be done by the convicted criminals to the victims, directly and entirely. It is not right for people who did not do any crime to be required to do restitution to people who are not the victim! Restitution is not meant to be a scam for politicians to go on a vote while they loot the country through corruption, taxation and inflation.
Real Help and Hope for the Poor
If our government really wants to help the poor, then they must stop stealing from them by corruption! The African Union estimates that 25% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is stolen by corruption every single year! If the ANC want to empower the poor – give them legal title deeds to their own homes – so that they may have collateral with which to secure loans.
The Only Path to Prosperity and Progress
If the state wants to create jobs and grow the economy – then they must respect private ownership of property. Do not erode constitutional safeguards and thereby chase away investors, entrepreneurs, tourists and job creators. Socialism is the pathway to ruin. Let us rather follow examples of excellence in Singapore and Switzerland. Decentralise. Create tax havens. Respect life and property.
Hope for South Africa
The only hope for our country is to turn away from race politics and hate. We need to love one another. We need to turn to God in humility, to humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. Then God will hear from Heaven, He will forgive our sins and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Each one of us on the Day of Judgement will one day stand before Almighty God and give an account for every word that we have ever spoken.
“For we must all appear before the Judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good, or bad.”
2 Corinthians 5:10
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
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