Buffoonery around land debate setting SA up for coalition government


To this end, they will campaign and mobilise, even blackmail and accuse, to ensure an amendment of the constitution is not attained. We saw how COPE’s leader Mosiuoa Lekota was reduced to public crying in defence of white land ownership.

The most important question in South Africa remains the land question. If we should have any national question it has to be the land question, for therein is locked up most of SA’s challenges, from identity to economics.


Unfortunately, what is unfolding before our eyes appears again the naked betrayal of the masses. The most important issue this society will ever have to contend with is made a buffoonery, joke, game and a manipulation of surveys in outcomes.  That which our children in the future will judge us harshly on, resolving the land question, is made a political game.

Firstly, let us accept the EFF, despite its unsustainable and often poorly thought through solutions for the land question, by default leads the public conversation on land. Herein is both a blessing and a curse. Perhaps the blessing is the EFF is aesthetically sincerer on the land debate than the ANC in this epoch ever will be. The curse is perhaps what Malema says may resonate and sound good in a rally, unfortunately, the land question does not take place in a vacuum but against the backdrop of a constitutional democracy.


Malema, who tabled the motion, is his usual self – useful loud on threats but empty on strategy and implementation. Saying we will take the land back naturally evokes great emotions, it allows the landless masses of South Africa to dream again, yet it is as old as the slogan Mayibuye iAfrika. In the end, this ultimately translates to pure rhetoric – it simply just doesn’t work like that if we going to accept the constitutional reality of South Africa


The land debate is made a joke because the ANC leadership under Ramaphosa consciously has reduced it to a clever political game of events, so-called processes of engagement that from the start is orchestrated to have the desired outcome not to tamper with the constitution. The constitution of South Africa is erroneously associated with the personality of Ramaphosa.


It is the conviction of the opposition that South Africa must be led by a coalition of parties. The ANC appears to have fallen for this conviction. You will recall that the motion on land back in March, as proposed by the EFF and slightly amended by the ANC, was passed with a 241-83. While this was a decisive adoption we must not forget that a significant number of 30+ on the ANC ticket either was absent or didn’t vote on the day.

Unfortunately, today it appears there are two ANC’s. There is the ANC that carries the ideals of the masses, mandated to deliver on what the masses agreed. Yet, there is also an ANC whose singular interest is to satisfy a promising investment community, a community in which they are all well vested.  Is it time to concede the ANC at this point in history is not interested in returning any land to the masses any time soon.

On the other hand, you have the majority of opposition parties led by the Democratic Alliance who are at pains to ensure white interest and its confirmed dominance of land ownership as a normalised constitutional defensible reality. They work today as custodians in defence of a constitution that is apparently under threat again. To this end, they will campaign and mobilise, even blackmail and accuse, to ensure an amendment of the constitution is not attained. We saw how COPE’s leader Mosioua Lekota was reduced to public crying in defence of white land ownership.


While this unfolds we have the Khoisan people in a multiplicity of expressions, who are yet to have their identities in a democratic state recognised as a 21st-century identity, in all sorts of tumults as they share their own confusing ideas of land as theirs exclusively.  When I as a Khoisan ask my kin, what land they are referring to they stumble in explanation. At the same time, you have traditional leadership structures however defined who are simply not ready to cease their cultural control and grip over land.  Then we have the Mr Gatvols who hardly represent the people with their racist and short-sighted comments filling the canvas of a land debate.

Perhaps the lack of clear and unequivocal consistent leadership on the most fundamental question in democracy, namely the land question, confirms another agenda. That agenda is to take SA to a coalition government in 2019 as an orchestrated plan.


Recently, the results of a Constitutional Review of Section 25 amendment comments were published.  We are told 229857 people submitted comments, therefore participated in this exercise. Of those who participated, 129549 apparently commented against the review while 100308 commented in favour of the review. We can’t but conclude that these may constitute the typical games being played that make the land question a buffoonery.

We also know that these processes are also a means to keep the radicals appeased in the ANC and to simultaneously neutralise the EFF and BLF on the issues of constitutional review and land.


If there were any true and genuine seriousness about the land question let us vote on this.  The most serious issue we may have to contend with – regaining control of land – is made a political game and used for wild threats while so-called census is manipulated to have the desired outcome.

It looks more and more real that come 2019, we will have a coalition government, not because the people desire that, but because the ANC leadership has been sold the lie that it cannot run the country as a party and that it needs opposition parties in equity of equality to be in power with them. This, unfortunately, is what President Ramaphosa seems to believe. Is it possible that a coalition government will assist its leader with a myriad of internal and internecine challenges facing the ANC, at least so it’s believed?

A coalition government will render whoever leads as answerable to South Africa and not the ANC. There are those who argue it was never Ramaphosa’s aim to be the ANC president, but to lead SA in a Mandela-style of government of national unity. Coalition politics will afford whomever to deal with the issue of deployment from cabinet to all levels. Coalition politics will, therefore, deal with the power of the ANC, its controversial resolutions and its cadre deployment challenges. So, when we get to coalition politics and a government of national unity Ramaphosa would be literally standing in Mandela’s proverbial shoes, a once too often expressed desire that has a tad too much significance for the incumbent. CR would be standing in Mandela’s shoes, exactly where he wants to be.

It is up to the masses to accept the political games of politicians because we were herded into coalition politics in the name of a land debate. The masses must either take their future into their own hands or continue allowing these political games that will never deliver land for the masses.

Clyde Ramalaine

Political Commentator and Writer