The Solidarity Movement welcomed the adoption of a motion on the expropriation of land by the Dutch parliament this week. The motion speaks out strongly against steps that are being taken to allow for expropriation of land in South Africa. A majority of members in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament voted in favour of the motion and thereby instructed the Dutch government to take a clear stand on this issue through bilateral and other processes.
The motion was tabled by Martijn van Helvert of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and Kees van der Staaij, leader of the Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij (SGP) (Reformed Political Party). Over the past few months, the Solidarity Movement has made extensive efforts to inform politicians and other leaders in the Netherlands and in other European countries of the intended expropriation without compensation that would be catastrophic.
According to Jaco Kleynhans, the Solidarity Movement’s head of international liaison, they met with various politicians, including Van Helvert and Van der Staaij, on this matter in February. “As a consequence of the way in which the parliamentary committee investigating constitutional amendments to allow for land expropriation without compensation has shown contempt for our admonishments for caution, and for that of others, the Solidarity Movement had no choice but to internationalise this matter. We will continue to persuade politicians in other countries and other governments to put pressure on the South African government not to continue with the planned amendments to the Constitution.”
The motion adopted by the Dutch parliament today emphasises the fact that the International Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights both prohibit expropriation of property on the basis of skin colour. “The motion passed by the South African government in February last year was clearly in favour of expropriation of land on the basis of skin colour and, therefore, violated these important charters,” Kleynhans said. According to him, the Solidarity Movement expects other countries to follow the example of the Dutch parliament. “We will now also make sure that the Dutch government takes action in this regard, and we will also continue to ensure that this matter, in addition to other important issues such as rural security, which the government also pays no attention to, is discussed at international forums,” Kleynhans concluded.