Lehlohonolo Shadrack Ted Pekane
Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to the Republic of Poland
Dear Mr. Ambassador,
In the Polish communities of freedom organizations, that have a friendly attitude towards the Republic of South Africa and its historical combat for justice and freedom, the information concerning proposed amendments to the South African Constitution have brought about great concern. The President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramphosa has proposed the amendment which waives necessity of paying compensation to owners of land for compulsory expropriation of their properties for the benefit of the government. The Parliament adopted the draft amendment to the basic law with vast majority of votes. At present Parliamentary Commission of Constitution Control that is dealing with this topic, is running public hearing.
We are writing to you, in order to ask the government of the Republic of South Africa, through your intercession, to stop further proceeding of changes interfering deeply into property rights and individual liberties. Legal steps undertaken by the South African authorities call into question the fact whether the country you are representing, fulfills standards of a democratic state under the rule of law observing basic human rights.
Adopting this proposal will additionally inflame already tense relations between the black and white residents of your country. Several tens of white farmers die due to the attacks on agricultural farms each year. Approximately one million of white citizens of the Republic of South Africa left their country, because they were in fear for their own life and health as well as life and health of their closest family members. Compulsory acquisition of land property will not improve the situation of the poor, black citizens, but it will only lead to chaos on the land market which may end up with the lack of food and further pauperization of the society. The effects of this change shall be borne by the whole state through deterioration of economic situation and deteriorating of international reputation of your country.
As Poles, struck by our own history, it is our duty to warn you against these misguided moves. The Communist regime governing in our country after the Second World War, also executed compulsory expropriation without compensation. Nationalization deprived hundreds thousands people of life work, ruined our nation. We have to deal with negative consequences of those decision till today, due to, just to mention, complex process of paying compensation for the then lost property.
The Poles did not have a choice at that time. The Republic of South Africa still has a chance to avoid disastrous mistakes, that is why we are hereby strongly appealing for withdrawing from announcement of amendments to the Constitution.
Warsaw Enterprise Institute
Związek Przedsiębiorców i Pracodawców
Instytut Gospodarczy i Konsumencki
Fundacja Przyszłość Pokoleń
Fundacja Wolności i Przedsiębiorczości
Centrum im. Adama Smitha
We also encourage you to read The International Property Rights Index 2018