News and Commentary

South African Government Approves The Seizure Of Two White-Owned Farms

The South African government is believed to have seized at least two farms owned by white South Africans after those farmers refused a government offer of one-tenth their land’s value, beginning what experts believe to be a country-wide “expropriation” of white-owned land.

A local newspaper, City Press, reported the seizures which then made headlines in most major Australian news outlets.

According to reports, the South African government offered to buy land from two white farmers in the country’s northern region of Limpopo. After the two farmers quoted their price (around $18 million) the government came back with offers one-tenth of asking, a mere $1.8 million. When the farmers refused the offer, the government issued a summons, evicting the farmers from their land.

The landowners appealed, but Monday, a court ruled in favor of the government paving the way for expropriation. The government reportedly plans to act quickly, according to local media.

Earlier this year, the same paper, City Press, claimed that the South African government had drawn up a list of 139 farms that it planned to “expropriate” from white farmers as part of a country-wide “redistribution” scheme that would put the same land into the hands of the country’s black residents as restitution for the poverty wrought by Apartheid. The farm expropriated in Monday’s case is allegedly on that list.

Just last weekend, Australian media reported that white farmers in South Africa are racing to sell their land and leave the country after the government announced last week that it plans to pursue a constitutional change allowing it to seize land without offers, eviction notices, and court cases. Hundreds of farmers have already fled the country taking refuge largely in Australia where farmland is still plentiful.