The South African civil rights organisation AfriForum, Akkerland Boerdery, the agricultural organisation TAU SA, the trade union Solidarity and Agri Limpopo argued at a joint media conference in Pretoria today that the South African government’s current attempts to expropriate two Akkerland Boerdery farms, Lukin and Salaita, at 10% of the market value employ land reform as pretext to hide the real motives behind expropriation: That the government wants to lay its hands on coal reserves under the surface of these farms to facilitate expansion of the Chinese government’s economic interests in South Africa.
The organisations pointed out that Chinese government-controlled companies were planning development to the value of $10 billion in the Musina-Makhado special economic zone (SEZ), in which Akkerland falls. Exploration by the controversial Coal of Africa on Akkerland indicates that the farm’s coal is suitable for use in power stations and steel factories.
According to Akkerland, AfriForum, TAU SA, Solidarity and Agri Limpopo, government needs the coal reserves on the farms because the Chinese development includes among other the building of a coal-powered power station, a coal plant and various metallurgical plants. More information is available at:
AfriForum, TAU SA and Solidarity also announced that they would financially support Akkerland Boerdery’s legal actions against government’s expropriation attempts in the interest of the protection of property rights. They would also offer help to uncover the injustices committed against the Akkerland Boerdery nationally as well as internationally. These organisations also requested the public to contribute financially to Akkerland’s legal battle and have already opened a separate banking account in the name of the Akkerland Regsfonds (account number 9343268401 and ABSA branch code 632005), which will be administrated by TAU SA’s auditors. The organisation will also publish the banking details on their respective websites.
Johan Steenkamp, co-owner of Akkerland Boerdery, points out that Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, served Akkerland Boerdery with an ejectment order on 29 March this year in which the owners were given seven days to vacate the farms. “The Minister would have known that 30 March to 2 May was a long weekend. I believe she wanted to make it difficult for us to take timeous legal steps. This agrees with the Minister’s public statement that she did not want farmers targeted for expropriation to know this beforehand to prevent them from preparing legal action,” Steenkamp said.
You see the Chinese special interest/lobby groups are finding it very easy to buy/bribe our politicians.
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