By Iavan Pijoos for News24
On Friday last week, lobby group AfriForum posted on its website that it had “obtained a list of farms identified” for expropriation. This can seen here.
It claimed it was being circulated within the rural development department.
AfriForum encouraged farmers to check if their farms were on the list and to contact the organisation so that they could “prepare for a joint legal strategy”.
Analysts at the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) believe that a list said to contain the names of farms that are to be targeted for land expropriation without compensation is “legitimate”.
“While we note the statement by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform that ‘there is no truth to this document, the IRR, whose analysts have had sight of the list, has every reason to believe it is legitimate,” campaign manager Terence Corrigan said on Tuesday.
Corrigan said government had decided to start farm seizures before public comment and parliamentary processes were concluded.
“This is at odds – as the IRR has long warned – with assurances made by ruling party and government leaders that only unproductive land will be seized.
“The IRR has long cautioned that undermining property rights will have catastrophic economic and social ramifications,” Corrigan said.
List disputed by government
The department has disputed that a such a list exists.
Earlier this month, City Press reported that the ANC had identified 139 farms to be expropriated without compensation in the coming weeks, to test section 25 of the Constitution.
The list, shared by AfriForum, contained the names of 195 farms.
AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets said the list came from a “confidential source”.
Farmers ‘worried’ about exposure
Agri SA president Dan Kriek said AfriForum’s publishing of this list was “grossly irresponsible” as it had itself acknowledged that its legitimacy was in doubt.
“They themselves don’t know if it’s valid or not,” Kriek said.
Speaking at a media briefing on Monday, Kriek said that two farmers whose farms were on the list had contacted him.
“By the way, some of those farmers were extremely agitated that they have now been exposed,” Kriek said.
He said the farmers were “extremely worried about the name of their farm [appearing] on a list”.