"AfriForum knew that publishing unconfirmed information would be grossly irresponsible and inflammatory, and meant to destabilise the agricultural sector." File Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)
The debate over land expropriation without compensation has been heating up ever since it was endorsed by Parliament. 

AfriForum did not do any good by releasing an unconfirmed list of 139 farms allegedly earmarked for expropriation. AfriForum knew that publishing unconfirmed information would be grossly irresponsible and inflammatory, and meant to destabilise the agricultural sector.

Why would it not confirm the list before publishing it? They themselves don’t know if it’s valid or not. This is an action by a rogue organisation hell-bent on destroying what the democratic South African government has achieved so far.

The move by AfriForum is strategic in the sense that it will sidetrack any form of positive engagement on issues of land reform.

What AfriForum fails to understand is that for South Africans land is a symbol of far more than an expanse of soil. For most people, it has nothing to do with agriculture at all.

The country needs cool heads in dealing with land reform as it is a very emotive and sensitive issue. AfriForum should try hard to understand that it is about much more than just reorganising ownership patterns.

It is also about symbolism, history and inequality, and even, in some quarters, a need to have the white minority “put in its place”, to make them feel the pain the majority felt for so long.

This is why expropriation without compensation has become a rallying cry for many who have no interest in farming but who feel that a quarter-century of democracy has not ended white privilege. It symbolises a much broader demand for change.

Our economy is fragile and we do not need this kind of attitude and posturing by AfriForum. We are living is a country where race relations are at an all-time low, and this behaviour by AfriForum incites hate and violence.

* Tshepo Diale, Nkwe Estate.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus