South Africa has come under the spotlight after passing a law that allows the government to seize its citizens’ assets. However, not all citizens. The government can only take away your property, without pay, if you fit a very certain, specific characteristic: being white.
241 to 83 votes passed that law.
Sponsored by the radical left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, the goal of the law is to address “racial disparities in land ownership”. The African National Congress (ANC) also supported the law after a few amendments.
The opposing party, Democratic Alliance, opposed the motion citing fears of losing potential investors and undermining property rights.
Originally, the constitution aimed at land redistribution through compensation for the redistribution of land from white owners to black owners. But since the end of the apartheid, there has not been a full redistribution of the land.
This has made many push for drastic measures to achieve a full transfer of land. The ANC’s deputy chief whip, Dorries Dlakude said that the party, “recognises that the current policy instruments, including the willing-buyer-willing-seller policy and other provisions of section 25 of the constitution may be hindering effective land reform.”
This new law didn’t come from anywhere. It comes after the new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said he would make it a goal to transfer land from white to black owners only a few weeks ago, after his inauguration. He also spoke about how he wanted to avoid “panic” with his goal to become the president who finally transfers all the land to black owners.
However, panic is exactly what has occurred. Many look at what happened in Zimbabwe, fearing that the quick adoption of this expropriation law will insight the same violence that the country experienced, leaving the land deteriorated.
A few days after the amendment passed, the EFF leader, Julius Malema, has publicly advocated to “go after a white man”, in order to make them, “feel a terrible pain.” The EFF’s calls for violence has sparked attention from abroad and the country is now facing harsh criticism for violating property rights based on skin color.
Newsweek reported that more than 12,000 people have signed a petition asking America and President Donald Trump to accept white South Africans to migrate to the United States. Just last year, thousands of white South Africans protested against deadly attacks in rural parts of the country.
But, what will Canada’s response be to this newly adopted law in South Africa?
Canada has received asylum petitions from White South Africans before. In 2017, a white South African family had their refugee claim denied after experiencing violent thefts, assaults, in their home. The Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board ruled that it did not believe race was the motivation for the violent thefts.
In 2008, Brandon Huntley initially received refugee status in Canada but found it revoked once the South African government threatened to worsen relations between the two countries. Huntley’s lawyer said during the case, that people are scared to come across as racist, but there is discrimination in South Africa against whites.
Some sources claim that the thefts and robbery are purely due to economic reasons in the past. However, it could now be seen that the state has officially sanctioned racism with the passing of the discriminatory law. Even in the past, Former South African President Jacob Zuma publically sang songs with racial slurs such as, “Kill the Boer,” referring to the white South Africans.
Although these individuals were not successful in finding asylum in Canada in the past, there could now be a change in how Canada views those seeking refuge from South Africa.
Perhaps with the change in the constitution, the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board will see that there is specific discrimination against whites/Boers/Afrikaners, especially if and when the property seizures will start to take place.
Will Canada start recognizing the plight of white South Africans who are being held accountable for the sins of their ancestors? What will happen to these men and women who will be stripped of their private property due to state-sanctioned racism?
Let us know your thoughts below!