Malcolm Horne, a London barrister, has written in very blunt terms regarding the planned land grab in South Africa: “You cannot have land expropriation without compensation. It is illegal under international law. It is contrary to a dozen treaties that South Africa has signed and ratified. As such, it is a principle that is also enshrined in South African domestic law. You cannot change the Constitution, therefore, to make it legal; Treaty law is superior law, it always applies.”
In days gone by I might have drawn some comfort from this warning, but I’ve seen too much in my years on the benighted continent to believe that points of law, no matter how pertinent and how seemingly binding, will make the slightest bit of difference.
One of the first political discussions I recall being witness to was the aftermath of the Congo carnage following the granting of independence to a lunatic by the name of Patrice Lumumba. The Belgians fled for their lives and the country collapsed into civil war, which continues today. Independent rule in Zambia and Tanzania was quickly followed by nationalization, the denial of property rights, and those economies quickly crumbling, but mountains of Western largesse poured in, most of which was stolen. Nobody was censured, of course, because the liberal socialists running Europe were on their knees saying sorry for being white.
When Mozambique acquired independence in 1975, informed Portuguese citizens expressed optimism; they were sure that Frelimo, the new ruling party under Samora Machel, would not make the same mistake. He not only made the same mistake, he compounded it, moving expeditiously and sometimes violently to seize all private property. The Portuguese ran for the exits, and in six months, a once-vibrant economy was in ruins. Again, the world, following Europe’s lead, rewarded this zealot with huge dollops of aid.
When Robert Mugabe took over in Zimbabwe, the promising news was that both Samora Machel and Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere had warned their protégé not to make the same mistakes they did; respect property rights and let the Europeans continue to contribute, they told him. When Mugabe began threatening white farmers, most informed people in the political and farming leadership were sanguine; it was just bluster and there was little chance of him being that foolish because he was superintelligent, we were told, and well knew that dispossessing the farmers would be calamitous for the country. Well, laws, international treaties, conventions, and economic consequences were brusquely dismissed, and in 2000 he did what he was warned not to do: violently evicted a mere 4,000 white farmers but tore up property rights and destroyed his country. He was backed by then South African president Thabo Mbeki, and the ruling ANC and most African leaders cheered him on. Mild sanctions were applied and a travel ban on the president and some of his cronies followed. Mugabe effectively proved, yet again, that politically motivated “crimes,” as long as the ostensible victims are white, are permissible, and this lesson has been well learned south of the Limpopo.
Cyril Ramaphosa recently came to power, replacing the disastrous Jacob Zuma, on a wave of euphoria. It’s hard to imagine how he could not be a better option, but his opening address included an ominous message that most chose to overlook; “…we will seize land without compensation,” he announced. And with that he chose to detonate a political bombshell that might well go down in history as the watershed moment when his country set off on the road to ruin. Unsurprisingly, the message was very well received by the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters)—led by Julius Malema, who is an increasingly influential figure, loved by many for his venomous antiwhite rantings, a man who drives his fans wild when singing “kill the Boer [farmer].”
For Jacob Zuma, the land-grab debate has been a blessing; the clamor for him to be prosecuted has abated, and the political airwaves are filled with rancorous calls for the quick eviction of European farmers and the seizure of their property as a means to alleviate the suffering of poor, dispossessed Africans. White farmers are being murdered on a regular basis just to maintain the pressure.