September 24, 2015

#LandGrabsInSA: Land ‘theft’ was legit

Equating the land ownership of previous centuries to asset ownership (the proverbial stolen cellphone) of today is ridiculous. As late as the mid-20th century, a legitimate form of change of land ownership was through military conquest.
Poland, France and other countries were conquered during the Second World War and then given back their land after their defeat. Even today, Northern Ireland is part of the UK and Hawaii is a state of the US.
In KwaZulu-Natal and the Capes (Western, Eastern and Northern ), the British conquered the African tribes, then conquered the republics of the Free State and SA (Transvaal). The Union of SA became an independent dominion of the British Crown in 1909 and, under this union, Africans were denied voting rights in 1913.
Before 1960, the Union of SA was part of the British Empire, and the rulers of the British Empire could do with their land as they pleased. Britain transferred its land ownership to the government of SA in 1960. There was no theft.
I paid market price for my title deed, as did my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. My great-great grandfather lost his farm in the Orange Free State when the British won the second Anglo Boer War.
I grow weary of threats about anarchy if poor black Africans are not appeased. I’m similarly bored of the African National Congress and its lickspittle encouragement of violence.
~Jan van der Merwe