British Prime Minister, Theresa May, caused outrage in some circles on Tuesday with her support for “legal” expropriation of property without compensation. She obviously did not think that through carefully.
Expropriation of property without compensation can never be legal. An expert in international law this week pointed out that, even if the ANC amends section 25 of the constitution to legalize expropriation, and even if the Constitutional Court in SA ratifies this, it remains illegal in international law as stated by numerous treaties and conventions co-signed by the South African government.
The Prime Minister should know that.
In effect this means that if a pineapple farm in Kwazulu Natal is expropriated from the white owner and handed over to a black farmer, who then exports the pineapples to the UK for sale in Tesco, the white farmer has two options: Either he could, through a British court, have the pineapples confiscated in the harbour, or if it is already in Tesco’s possession, through the British legal system, subpoena Tesco to pay him as well. Which means that Tesco will, in future, import pineapples from South America. Either way, it will become a matter for the British legal system.
As far back as 1905 the then Prime Minister, Henry Campbell Bannerman, guaranteed the right of self determination for the Afrikaner/Boer people and those who associate with them. This never came to pass. Theresa May had the opportunity to deliver on an old promise, and she didn’t.
She took the easy way out. With her slight reference to British Colonialism she grabbed at the opportunity to support an action allegedly designed to redress the injustices of British Colonialism. But in this support she threw the very people who suffered and lost the most through British Colonialism, the Afrikaner/ Boer people, right under the bus. She gave her blessing to a repetition of exactly what was done by the Colonialists to exactly the same people.
Did the prime Minister honestly reckon that two wrongs equal a right?
This might be the reason why mrs May is constantly under fire in her own country for her inability to carry out the instruction of her own people to negotiate a firm Brexit deal. She is constantly looking for the easy way out, the popular way out. Once more, on Tuesday morning in Cape Town, she slipped up on an opportunity to do the right thing, even if it is the less popular thing.
In this her performance pales in comparison to two of her predecessors who also intervened in a South African matter. In 1960 Harold Macmillan came to South Africa and cautioned the government that the winds of change are blowing through the continent. It was an unpopular point of view in South Africa, but Macmillan took that position because his true conviction dictated him to do so. He did not take the popular position.
Margaret Thatcher did the very same thing. While the Heads of State of the Commonwealth were unanimous in their condemnation of South Africa in the late 1980’s, Margaret Thatcher in her firm opposition to Communist politics and convinced of the fact that Nelson Mandela was a terrorist, did all she could to prevent a total collapse of South Africa. This was a most unpopular position to take, but she opted to do what her conscience dictated.
Theresa May did not.
Even after being called out by a journalist for not being able to provide any evidence of her support for the ending of apartheid and the release of Mandela, she grabbed at the opportunity to cash in on that, at the same time also attempting to share in the credit through allowing the ANC to do what Britain was supposed to do long ago – to redress the past injustices of their colonialist policy in South Africa.
Britain fed Rhodesia to the wolves. Theresa May had it in her power to prevent the same from happening to South Africa. But she could not gather the courage to do so. Even when men such as Donald Trump and Peter Dutton in Australia stood up and defended the less popular, although fair and righteous, position, thereby deserving respect, Prime Minister May opted for the easy way out. She had an opportunity so rare and so precious to a politician to act out of principle, righteousness, conviction and fairness and influence the direction of world opinion. And she allowed it to pass her by.
The inevitable social, political, economical and historical disaster which WILL befall South Africa through the proposed policy of expropriation without compensation, will be recorded by history. And it will be recorded at the expense of Theresa May.
For, once again, Brittania waived the rules.
Read the original article by Daniel Lötter on Front Nasionaal SA
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