S. Africa Responds to Trump and Pauses Land Seizures...But Readies to Seize Guns

P. Gardner Goldsmith | August 29, 2018
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Ahh, those misty memories of yesteryear. Why, it seems like it was only a week ago that paleoconservatives, libertarians, and even Donald Trump reported that the South African government was initiating its move to seize white-owned farms in that basket-case of a nation and that many of those farmers were targets for violence and murder.

Yet leftist, self-styled “fact-checkers” were glibly claiming that was incorrect. One went so far as to claim that “no farms have been seized,” which overlooked the fact that even the Daily Mail and Newsweek acknowledged the violence, and which badly misconstrued the seizure situation. The South African government was, indeed, beginning the process of seizing white-owned land, a process that started with the government offering to buy land at about 10 percent of its value, and, if the owner did not sell, simply seizing it.

And, lo-and-behold, the South African government has, itself, confirmed that not only were the conservatives and libertarians right, President Trump was correct when he sounded an alarm about the land seizures last week.

As Tal Axelrod reports for The Hill, the South African government is halting its forced-buyout/seizure of predominantly white-owned farms until the national Supreme Court can look at the law.

South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, said Tuesday it withdrew a bill passed in 2016 allowing the state to seize land in exchange for money as a means to amend racial disparities. 

The problem is that such a paragraph excludes what is really happening – on two fronts.

First, the 2016 law? As Reuters reports, it turns out the bill, though passed, was never signed into law, so the government was making the moves on farms contrary to its own governmental process.

Second, again, as Reuters reports:

However, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Aug. 1 the ANC plans to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation, as whites still own most of South Africa’s territory.

In fact, the process is underway. The South African Assembly has already voted to change their constitution, and a Constitutional Committee must report on the overall matter by the end of the day on August 30th. So the rulers of South Africa still want expropriation, they just want it built into the constitution itself.

And before stepping into the ambiguous realm of South African history and whether or not all, or a majority, or a minority, of currently white-owned farms were either taken from native South Africans generations ago and/or they were developed on unowned/undeveloped land that white settlers made productive for farming purposes, it’s important to note another part of events in South Africa.

The South African government wants to confiscate approximately 300,000 guns.

A few weeks ago, the South African Constitutional Court ruled that those citizens who did not have gun licenses or whose licenses had expired should turn in their firearms.

Another important example of why it’s a bad idea to have the state make people get firearm licenses. As Helene Eloff writes for The Citizen:

According to the association, section 137 of the act makes provision for compensation to be paid to those who are compelled to hand in their firearms. The registrar has the authority to decide whether this will be done, so compensation is therefore not a given. Legislation provides for maximum compensation of R500 for a handgun and R1 000 for a rifle. According to the association’s CEO Fred Camphor, these amounts are far below the value of firearms.

And as José Niño reports for GunPowderMagazine:

From countries such as Cuba to the Soviet Union, aspiring demagogues have used gun confiscation to disarm the populace. Logically, an unarmed populace will put up little resistance against their tyrannical acts. In South Africa’s case, farmers and their workers are already suffering ongoing attacks against their property. One could only imagine what it would be like for these persecuted farmers once they are stripped of their right to self-defense.

Are sensible people to think that the government of South Africa is not creating a situation that is ripe for the taking of property and destruction of the right to self-defense?

The history of South African land claims is dark, woven with threads of terrible racism, and, in many cases, so complex that attempts to rectify past wrongs will undoubtedly lead to additional wrongs against people who never committed any crimes. How to resolve those issues is difficult to answer.

But the African National Congress has been in power in South Africa since 1994. For nearly a quarter of a century, the socialist-leaning ANC has had the opportunity to help improve lives, but its collectivism and welfare policies have turned the country into a basket case.

The current ANC big-wig, President Ramaphosa, can try to buy time and votes through seizing farms, but that will not lead to “equity”, will not help the economy, and will not put greater amounts of food in shops.

Even critics of President Trump can recognize that he was right to criticize this land-grab move, and right to note the violence occurring in South Africa today.

If the South African government has its way, not only will farmers be stripped of their farms, they will be stripped of their arms, helpless to defend themselves against criminals or a shockingly criminal government.