SA will not follow Zim’s land ‘reform’: Zuma

South Africa, although in the process of trying to allocate more arable land to its majority black population, will not do it in the manner employed in neighbouring Zimbabwe, President Jacob Zuma has said.

Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma

President Robert Mugabe’s chaotic land grab saw the octogenarian leader deploy war veterans in a violent ouster of productive commercial farmers from the land on which they produced the crops that kept the country afloat and fed the region.

Most of that land was later parcelled to top officials of Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party, security chiefs and other supporters of the ailing movement, in a manner that is widely being blamed for the economic decline that has bedevilled the country since the turn of the millennium.

Zuma, the SADC-appointed mediator in the Zimbabwean political crisis, whose country has borne the brunt of Mugabe’s failed policies, said early this week that his country would not follow Zimbabwe’s road to economic destruction.

“I don't think the South African and Zimbabwean constitutions are the same,” Zuma said here on Monday during a business breakfast meeting.

“Our constitution is very important because it guides us on what we do,” he said.

Zuma described the issue of land redistribution as a serious issue that needed attention, but made it clear that SA would not follow the path of Zimbabwe.

He said what happened in Zimbabwe at the instigation of Zanu (PF) was influenced by a culture of looting, adding that in South Africa, everything would be done according to law.

In Zimbabwe, police failed to act when the so-called war veterans and other Mugabe supporters unleashed violence on the farms, in which they later vandalised infrastructure, destroyed property and failed to produce anything of note.

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