File picture: Siyabulela Dludla/GCIS
File picture: Siyabulela Dludla/GCIS

MPs up in arms over land reform report's 'lack of credibility'

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Sep 21, 2018

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Cape Town - A company hired by Parliament to deal with the written submissions on expropriation of land without compensation has been sent packing after MPs questioned its credibility and the report it compiled.

Constitutional Review Committee members were up in arms yesterday when two Isilumko officials failed to disclose their full details to the committee.

The report was at the centre of discussions in the committee after it was first tabled a few weeks ago.

In the report the company said out of the 149000 submissions it had processed, 80000 people opposed expropriation of land without compensation while 69000 people wanted section 25 of the Constitution to be amended.

When the company began presenting to the committee MPs started questioning its credibility and the report.

This was after the two officials did not disclose their full details.

Tebogo Mokwele of the EFF fired the first salvo and said the company was a labour broking firm with no capacity to work on the submissions.

“Some of us want to conclude this process and to be subjected to this presentation makes it difficult,” said Mokwele, adding that a background search on the company revealed it dealt with labour broking matters.

Glynnis Breytenbach of the DA also said it was a recruitment agency and the credibility of its report to Parliament was questionable.

Deidre Carter of Cope said that when the party questioned the processes followed to appoint the firm it was told to back off because it was an administrative issue. She said their concerns had come back to bite them.

Nazier Paulsen of the EFF said the company appeared to have drafted a report that took a particular narrative on the land reform process; here was a need to get to the bottom of the background of the company.

But African Christian Democratic Party MP Steve Swart said the company’s credibility must not be questioned. “I think it’s unfair to suggest this is a propaganda report because it does not suit their (the EFF’s) narrative as 65% of the people said no to amending the Constitution. From the word go the EFF was attacking this report."

Committee co-chairperson Lewis Nzimande said they will now ask the top officials of Parliament to make a presentation on the report.

Political Bureau

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