The bill to amend Section 25 of the South African constitution to pave the way for land expropriation without compensation has failed in the National Assembly.
The African National Congress (ANC) failed to muster the required two-thirds majority as neither the Democratic Alliance (DA) nor the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supported the amendment.
In the vote on Tuesday, 204 MPs voted in favour of the bill and 145 against, with no abstentions.
A total of 267 votes is required for a two-thirds majority.
EFF Leader Julius Malema suggested that an extrajudicial process of returning the land is now the only option.
“We reject this Bill and call on millions of people to take their land. We tried by the parliamentary process was hijacked by the ANC and their handlers. And unless we have an overwhelming majority in Parliament, Black people stay landless in this country. Our people must take it upon themselves to ensure they return what was stolen from them. This process is a failure. The ANC is totally captured by white monopoly capital and it will not do anything in its power to return the land to the rightful owners.”
The DA’s Dr Annelie Lotriet said failure to pass the bill is a victory for South Africa’s Constitutional order.
“If anything, the ANC and the EFF wasted time on a process that was never going to address the land question for landless South Africans. For all the years that the committee has spent trying to take away the property rights of South Africans and nationalise all land, focus should rather have been on opening access to state land, improving tenure security and providing support to emerging farmers.”
During the debate Justice Minister Ronald Lamola accused the EFF of being in bed with the DA and Freedom Front Plus by voting against the ANC on the Bill to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.