How Sir Richard Branson might surprise EFF’s threat of expropriation without compensation

How Sir Richard Branson might surprise EFF’s threat of expropriation without compensation
Andile Mngxitama

Dear Honorable (Commissar) Andile Mngxitama

Thank you for your letter warning me about expropriation without compensation of my Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyards owned by Virgin Limited Edition (VLI) in Franschoek. That is if the EFF come to power.

I do want to firstly assure you that we are used to expropriation without compensation. It is commonplace in the hotel business and I can’t tell you how many sheets and towels and pictures cutlery and plants go missing from our establishments.

One hotel owner lost a whole chandelier when a guest dismantled and smuggled it out in his brief case; in batches. Our only crime-free establishment is on my island Nakar, where the guests probably think they might be searched on departure.

May I also hasten to add that we do not own that surreally beautiful forty hectares of land in Franschoek. At least not in the same way that we own the business, cars, equipment, vines and buildings. But I give you my word that all these movables are ours and will be disposed of before the expropriation date, using explosives if needs be.

As for the very precious and beautiful land, the Registrar of Deeds, a state employee, has acknowledged our ownership by signing the title deed and survey diagram. This ‘piece of paper’ as you call it, is vital. We cannott have people trespassing on our property, or sending their cows into the vineyards. So we paid for its exclusive use. The tacit agreement is the state will prevent others from using it and our taxes pay for this protection.

I might add that when the colonial forces subjugated your ancestors I believe there was much debate in Whitehall about introducing land titles into the former Homelands. Suffice to say that if they had done so then, as the Fingoes requested in 1835, people would not now still be fleeing from land held in communal ownership and arbitrary rule by chieftans.

In testament to this we can only guess how thoroughly rotten things are out there, sans titles, when people freely choose to move to the dangerous and degrading rusty corrugated suburbs around the towns and cities. There they have to buy food and are humiliated by depending on state grants which would not feed an alsation. “Oh to be a slave,” they must be thinking, contrary to your suggestion…

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