Africans did not have title deeds before the advent of Europeans – Lekota

Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota says government holds ownership of a large portion of land and that South Africans should heed against what he says are misconceptions around land expropriation.

He has questioned whether race should be the sole determinant for land redistribution.

We must not leave our people with the wrong impression that every white person walking the streets is owning your land, the families that own the land are the families that bought them and they are obliged to give them back to government if a title is produced.

Mosiuoa Lekota, COPE leader

Lekota explains how title deeds are a prerequisite for land claims.

The 1913 land act compelled a situation in which Africans who already owned a title were dispossessed of it, that’s why we said all the people that still have the title they must come forward with it so that the land can be returned to their families, much which has been done.

Mosiuoa Lekota, COPE leader

The big issue here is that people who need land, new land, government must own that land and indicate to people the availability of that land.

Mosiuoa Lekota, COPE leader

The problem is that people probably think that South Africa will be zoned into farms and that we can give the 50 or 40 million free land. Africans did not have titles before the advent of Europeans.

Mosiuoa Lekota, COPE leader

We negotiated the Constitution to state that where our people had acquired land by title before 1913, those titles are still valid and they do not have to buy it, they have to be given back that land.

Mosiuoa Lekota, COPE leader

He also asks how land redistribution can be achieved without leaving ownership in the hands of a few.

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