Second Reading debate Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill [B18 - 2021] by Dr Mathole Serofo Motshekga, MP,Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee on Section 25

7 December 2021

(Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution of the National Assembly)

Your Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa
Deputy President David Mabuza
The Speaker of Parliament
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament
Ministers Present
Deputy Ministers Present
Directors-General Present
Leaders And Representatives Of All Political Parties


Today, we have an ample opportunity to remind all South Africans, both black and white that the principal object of establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee to amend Section 25 of the Constitution was to eradicate the original sin in the best interest of all South Africans, not a section thereof. It is therefore important for South Africa and the world to be reminded of the nature of this original sin to aid its understanding of this crime against the African humanity.


Indigenous African people were violently dispossessed of the land and its natural resources by the Dutch and British colonial settlers. The Dutch Settlers who occupied the Cape in 1652, enslaved the Native population and used it as their source of cheap labour.

The British Settlers who occupied the Cape from the beginning of the eighteenth century, abolished slavery and introduced liberal policies which denied the Dutch Settlers slave labour and limited their access to African land and cheap labour.

Thus, during the 1830’s, the Dutch Settlers migrated to Natal, the Free State and the Transvaal in search of Land and its Natural Resources as well as cheap labour. The African majority waged wars of resistance against the Boers in defence of their land and dignity.

Thus, from the first half of the nineteenth century the Dutch Settlers violently dispossessed African people of their land and its natural resources in these three colonies.

The discovery of the diamonds in 1866 led to the scramble for the soul of South Africa between the Dutch and British Settlers. This scramble led to the first Anglo-Boer War (1880 - 1881). African people supported the British Settlers during this war hoping that in the event of victory, they would regain their land and its natural resources. The British Settlers and their African allies were defeated by the Dutch Settlers under Paul Kruger at Majuba Hill. The British and the Boers entered into an agreement which excluded the African majority.

The African condition was worsened by Berlin Act of 1885 which legalised the partition of Africa into colonies which were shared amongst European powers. The resulting scramble for Africa renewed the conflict between the Dutch and British settlers after the discovery of gold in 1886. This conflict led to the second Anglo-Boer War (1899 - 1902).

The British persuaded Africans to support them during this war on the ground that in the event of victory, the British would restitute the land and its natural resources which were violently taken away from them. Thus, Africans participated in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and changed the balance of power in favour of the British led by Lord Alfred Milner.

At the end of the war, the British once again betrayed the African people and concluded the Treaty of Vereeniging which legalised racism and forged closer unity and co-operation between the Dutch and British Settlers.

The British Colonial authorities disarmed their African allies and allowed the Dutch Settlers to return to the land which they had violently taken away from the Native population. The British also carried over the Native reserves or locations which were labour camps, created by the Dutch settlers during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The question which faced the British colonial authorities after the second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) was characterised as the Native Question. The question confronted the British with the choice between the assimilation of Africans into the new order or to keep them imprisoned in the Native reserves or locations and to create a separate native administration system for them.

To address the Native Question, Lord Alfred Milner established the South African Native Commission (SANC) and appointed Sir Lagden as its Chairperson. The Commission was mandated to conduct an investigation into the territorial segregration of black and white populations and to establish a separate Native Administration for African people.

The betrayal of African people by the British people, after both the first and second Anglo-Boer was catalysed the birth of the Congress Movement.


From the mid 1880’s, British authorities in the Cape colony began to restrict the qualified black franchise in the Cape Colony. Jabavu launched a vigorous campaign against these restrictions and was instrumental in bringing about the first regional conference of African Organisations.

Held in King Williams Town in October 1886, the conference took two important decisions. First, to form a union of Native Vigilante Associations with Jabavu as Secretary-General. Secondly, it was decided that a four-man delegation should be sent to England as soon as practicable to petition the Imperial Parliament. This idea was dropped because of pressure from the European liberals, notably, James Rose Innes, the mentor of Jabavu.

Instead, attention was focused on the Afrikaner Bond’s attempts to remove Africans from the electoral register. The Afrikaner or Broeder Bond was a secret society formed by the Dutch Settlers to represent Dutch farming interests.

African groups hired lawyers to defend their rights and had considerable success. But as early as June, 1887, Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of the British Secret Society and author of British Imperial plan, declared in a speech in Parliament that:
The Native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism, such as workers in India, in our relations with the barbarism of South Africa.”

The mining magnate, Cecil Rhodes, who became Cape Prime Minister in 1890, was determined to further reduce the African in the Cape Colony.

The betrayal of Africans by the British Imperial power after the first Anglo-Boer war (1880 -1881) and at the Berlin Conference (1884 - 1885) catalysed the formation of the Congress Movement. Rev. Walter Benson Rubusana took the lead in the evolution of this Movement.

Rubusana was an influential Minister in the Congregational Church. In the early 1890’s, a group of Africans in the Eastern Cape, led by Rubusana, called for the formation of a new movement to represent their interests. On the 30 and 31 December 1891, these Africans founded the South African Native Congress, which brought together many African intellectuals led by Rubusana.

This movement was reinforced by the Ethiopian Movement which was founded by Reverend Mangena Maake Mokone in November 1892. This was the first National Organisation which represented the spiritual and political interests of African people.

The formation of the South African Native Congress was followed by the Natal Indian Congress which was founded Mahatma Ghandi in 1894.

In 1900 when the second Anglo-Boer War (1899 - 1902) was raging, Reverend John Langalibalele Dube of the Congregational Church, founded the Natal Native Congress. Rev. Dube was a self-confessed Ethiopian Christian who was profoundly influenced by Booker T Washington, one of the pioneers of Pan Africanism.

In 1902, Dr Abdullah Abdurahman founded the African Political Organisation (APO) to promote unity between the coloured races and to defend coloured people’s social, political and civil rights; and get all coloured men who were qualified to vote on the electoral register.

At its 1905 conference, APO elected Dr Abdullah Abdurahman as President. From then until his death in 1940, Abdurahman led the organisation and made an indelible mark on Coloured and Cape Politics. President Abdurahman said the names Coloured and African were interchangeable.

In 1903, Sefako Mapogo Makgatho formed the Transvaal Native Congress while Thomas Mapikela founded the Orange River Colony Native Congress. In 1906 Pixley Isaka Ka Seme, made an award winning speech entitled “ The Regenaration of Africa” at Columbia University, New York in the United States. In this speech, Seme laid the foundation for the National Democratic Revolution which provided the Congress with a vision and mission.


In the same year (1906), the British High Commissioner in South Africa, Lord Selbourne, issued a Memorandum which served as a blueprint for unification of the four South African Colonies. The Selbourne Memorandum was followed by the National Convention which gathered in Durban in 1908 and was comprised exclusively of the Dutch and British Settlers.


When the National Convention released its draft Constitution Bill for unification in 1909, the Cape franchise was not extended to the Boer republics.

In response, leaders of the Congress Movement convened the South African Native Convention or Native Convention in Bloemfontein in 1908. The Convention was attended by Africans from throughout South Africa and many resolutions were adopted, a number of which objected strongly to the terms of the proposed South Africa Bill, 1909. The most far-reaching resolution taken was that, if the National Convention rejected the concerns raised by the Congress leaders, the Native Convention would send a delegation to Britain in an attempt to persuade the British parliament to amend the Union of South Africa Bill (1909).

When the Native Convention’s resolutions were simply ignored by the National Convention, a delegation was duly formed for this purpose.

In Britain, the Native Conventions’ delegation conducted extensive interviews with Members of Parliament, journalists, and organisations such as the Aborigines Protection Society but were unable to gain any support for their opposition to the South Africa Bill, 1909.

Sefako Mapogo Makgatho, President of the Transvaal Native Congress, which was formed in 1903, mandated two lawyers, Alfred Mangena and Pixley Isaka Ka Seme who were in London at the time to represent its members’ views in the debates over the proposed union. The two men met and held discussions with the South African deputation over the future of the country. Mangena also attended one of the most significant occasions of the visit - a dinner with the members of the Labour Party, held in the House of Common on 10 August.


The intention of calling the Native Convention of 1908 was not that it would move forward as an organisation.

The idea of forming a national organisation was conceived in London by the Congress deputation and three lawyers namely Pixley Isake Ka Seme, Alfred Mangana and Richard Msimang.

The meetings in London afforded them an opportunity to discuss politics in the United Kingdom (UK) and more importantly back home. During these discussions they drew on the experience they had all gained of Britain as an imperial power of the unsuccessful attempts to shape London’s policy towards South Africa and of the need to confront the Union Government. Above all, they considered the urgent need for a national organisation to represent all African people. Thomas Mapikela recalled that the conversations which took place then had reference to the formation of the African National Congress.

The idea gained support that African people should work together politically on a more permanent basis and in 1911 plans were made for the formation of a national political organisation. These plans were led by four African lawyers namely namely Pixley Isake Ka Seme, Alfred Mangena, Richard Msimang and George Montshioa. The plans gains support throughout Southern Africa from African intellectuals, Religious and Traditional leaders.

Early in 1912, Seme and his fellow lawyers arranged a meeting in Bloemfontein to form a national organisation. Some sixty delegates gathered in Waaihoek Methodist Church on 8th January 1912 to consider the proposal to form a national organisation. In his opening address, Seme called for African unity and for the burial of the demons of racism and tribalism. Two days thereafter when agreement was reached to form the South African Native National Congress (SANNC), Seme said in his closing address that the formation of SANNC, renamed the African National Congress (ANC) in 1923, was the fulfilment of God’s promise to save or redeem Africa.

This promise is contained in the Ethopian creed (Psalm 68:31). The meeting also adopted God save Africa (Nkosi sikelele Africa) as its national anthem.

John L. Dube and Sol Tshekiso Plaatjie were elected President and Secretary General respectively. Seme served as treasurer while Sefako Makgatho who had the largest delegation, declined nomination for Presidency in favour of John L. Dube in order to foster national unity.


After ratification of the South Africa Act in September 1901, General Botha was requested by the Governor General, Lord Gladstone, to appoint a Cabinet for the Union of the South Africa. He appointed two persons from the Cape Colony to the Cabinet - Henry Burton as Minister of Native Affairs and J.W Sauer as Minister of Railways.

General Botha also appointed two of his fellow Boer Generals to his Cabinet. Jan Christian Smuts and James Barry Munnik Hertzog. Both Generals, but particularly Hertzog, would play a prominent role in the development of a policy on the African population of the country.

The very first action of the Whites Only Union Parliament was the establishment of the Department of Native Affairs. Botha announced that he wanted to resolve the Native Question on an impartial basis and that he wished to keep the country as a white man’s land.

The major issue facing the union government was how to address the relations between the African majority and the European Settlers. Hertzog insisted that the status quo created by the Boer republics and carried over by the British Colonial authorities had to be maintained in respect of the racial relations. It was also impressed on General Hertzog that a fair solution to the racial issue in South Africa had to be found as a matter of extreme urgency.

In the South Africa Act of 1909, segregation was not mentioned. The preamble of this Act, however, did state that the Union would strive to make further provision as to the purchase and leasing of land by Natives and other persons in several parts of the Union.

The position of the African communities was radically affected by the South Africa Act, 1909, since all African Communities in the country were now placed under the control of the central government. However, they were still regarded as separate and unique population groups and therefore a special department of Native Affairs was introduced, as well as a Minister of Native Affairs.

This department had to deal with matters such as the Control, Administration and development of African Communities. The Minister filled the position of political head of all African Communities while the Secretary of Native Affairs became the Administrative head.

Other provisions of the South Africa Act, 1909, that would play a role in determining the Native policy of the Union of South Africa were:

  • Section 35(1) which retained the qualified franchise of the African in the Cape and provided that only with a two-thirds majority of a joint session of the National Assembly and the Senate could be amended. This was one of the so-called entrenched sections in the South Africa Act. However, these Africans could only be represented by European Settlers in parliament.
  • Sections 26-41 which removed the right of Africans to be elected to parliament.
  • Section 147 which transferred the administrative control over the African population to the Governor General in council.

In short, the South Africa Act, 1909, disenfranchised the African majority and excluded them from the central administration of the country. This Act was passed against the will of the African majority and in ratifying these racially discriminatory clauses the British Imperial Parliament ignored the representations of congress leaders and their lawyers.


The second leg of the Native Question was the Land Question. At the inception of the Union of South Africa in 1910, the Boer republics, in particular, had already established Native reserves or locations which were inherited by the British colonial authorities after the Second Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902). However, it was essential that the land policy should be laid down in legislation.

The South African Party (SAP) which was in power from 1910 - 1924 applied a policy of segregation in politics, labour affairs, urbanisation and also in terms of Land tenure. However, as seen before, racial segregation was nothing new - it had been applied in various forms in the former Boer Republics, as well as in the two British Colonies. However, the Union government would now try to formulate a national land policy.

It was necessary for Parliament to adjust the various Colonial laws, ordinances and regulations into one national union land policy.

At the beginning of the first session of the Union Parliament in 1910, African people could still not own land in the Free State while there was a more moderate system in the Cape and Natal Africans had qualified franchise but land tenure was still as under the previous dispensation in both the British and Boer republics.

Meanwhile, it was essential to consolidate the four different colonial policies. General Hertzog had meanwhile published a Bill in December 1911 to regulate the residence of Africans in certain portions of the Union and to prohibit the unauthorised settlements of Africans on any land. This of course upset the African population and in 1912 a delegation of the newly founded South African National Native Congress (SANNC), renamed the ANC in 1923, went to see Minster Burton in Cape Town. This delegation wanted to know from the Minister where African people, who had been defined as squatters should go. After this discussion, Minister Burton withdrew the Bill until the allocation of locations to the African population could be afforded more attention.

Following disagreement in Cabinet on Native administration and the Land Question, there was a cabinet reshuffle which saw the appointment of General Hertzog as Minister of Native Affairs. More than any of his predecessors, Hertzog would be the force behind the formulation of Native policy. According to Hertzog, a policy of equalisation as followed in the Cape Colony would bring great misfortune to the Africans while European settlers would fear the uncertain future. He was convinced that a policy of racial segregation had to be maintained.

Meanwhile, the union parliament passed a law that made more land available to European Settlers. This Land Settlement Act (Act No. 12 of 1912) laid down the guidelines for the provision and sale of State Land to European Settlers.

In the meantime, General Hertzog was removed from Cabinet. However, he continued to articulate his Native policy, maintaining that Africans should be allowed to develop in their Native reserves or locations according to their own nature under the supervision of the Union government. This policy laid the foundation of the trusteeship system which treated Africans as minors or children.

Cabinet was confronted by the possibility that General Hertzog could split the South African Party, and in great haste they had to pacify General Hertzog and his supporters. Thus, J.W Sauer, Minister of Native Affairs, tabled in Parliament the Native Land Act that was prepared by Hertzog. Sol Plaatjie stated that if anyone at the beginning of 1912 had said that the Minister would table such a Bill: “we would have regarded that person a fit subject for the lunatic asylum.” This means that the fundamental rights of African people were violated to pacify the Afrikaner right wing forces.

On 16th June 1913, the Governor General, Lord Gladstone, signed the infamous Natives Land Act (No. 27 of 1913) and so segregation was captured in legislation for the first time after unification. It was also the first legislation on segregation after unification that was applicable to the entire country. Yet, this Bill represented no new thinking. The preamble to the Act stated that the Act was to provide for the purchase and leasing of land and the regulation of land tenure by Africans and other persons.

The Natives Land Act (No. 27 of 1913), like the South Africa Act, 1909, was passed by the racist union of South Africa, and ratified by the British parliament contrary to the will of the overwhelming majority of the African people.

According to Minister Burton, the Natives Land Act had to establish the policy of segregation for South Africa as a whole. Section 1 provided that Africans could not purchase, rent or otherwise acquire any land outside the scheduled Native reserves or locations. European Settlers could not purchase, lease or otherwise acquire any land in the scheduled Native reserves or locations (later referred to as the listed areas).

In a schedule to the Act, the Native reserves or locations that existed at that stage were listed. Initially these areas comprised only 7.3% of the total surface of the Union of South Africa. With subsequent additions, this was increased to 8.3%.

In terms of the Native Land Act, 1913, African Communities were required to operate their own separate socio-economic and political systems in the Native reserves or locations and the European Settlers in the rest of South Africa. This Act was the first unitary measure in which the principle of segregation was applied in practice and recognised by law.

The hidden agenda of the Natives Land Act, 1913, was tactlessly revealed by the secretary of the Department of Native Affairs on 12 September 1912. He advised the residence of Thaba Nchu either to become labourers on farms or to move to the scheduled Native areas or locations or to sell their livestock for cash. Africans also believed that the main aim of the Act was to force them to work on the mines.


African people not only rejected the South Africa Act, 1909, which established the Whites Only Union of South Africa, but also the Native Land Act, 1913. In March 1913, the African National Congress (ANC) decided to send a delegation comprising of J. L Dube, Dr W. B Rubusana, Adv. A Mangena, Rev. L Dlepu, W.Z Fenyangi, S Msane, LT Nyabaza and De Le Tanka to Cape Town to object to the Minister of Native Affairs about this legislation. They were unsuccessful because Minister Sauer indicated that other more important matters had played a role in the Settler government’s decision. One of the matters was to pacify the Hertzog faction.

After this unsuccessful visit of the ANC to Cape Town, the ANC addressed a letter to the Governor General, Lord Gladstone, in which he was implored not to sign the Act. His reply was that it did not fall within his Constitutional function to reject an Act. In July 1913, the President of the ANC, J L Dube again requested an appointment with Lord Gladstone to inform him about the sufferings this Act had caused among the African population of South Africa, but once again Lord Gladstone replied that: “it was not within his Constitutional rights”.

On 25th July 1913, the ANC decided to send a delegation to the British King because “if South Africa were really British, then any suffering taking place in that country must be of concern to his Majesty the King and the British public “. This decision was communicated to the Minister of Native Affairs, F S Malan, who was acting as such after Minister Sauer had passed away. Malan was not convinced that visit to the British government would bear any fruit since the representatives of the British government in South Africa had already signed the Act. He also suggested that the visit be postponed until after the report of the Commission created by Section 2 and 3 has completed its work.

However, the ANC Congress that took place in February 1914 in Kimberly, decided to proceed with the visit to the British government and the following persons were delegated to state their case: J. L Dube,, Dr W. B Rubusana, S.T Plaatjie, S Mosane and T.K Mapikela.

Before their departure, the delegation conducted discussions with the Governor General and the Prime Minister and although both requested the delegation not to go to London, they could not persuade them. In London, the delegation stated their case in an interview with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, after which the matter was discussed in the British Parliament.

In his reply, the Colonial Secretary voiced his disappointment that the delegation nevertheless visited London against the wishes of the Governor General, Lord Gladstone and General Botha, the Prime Minister of South Africa. He pointed out that the Natives Land Act, 1913, did not contain anything new: “It’s the outcome and result of Commission appointed by Lord Milner some years ago, presided over by Sir Godfrey Lagden.”

He continued by pointing out to them that the honourable members had to bear in mind that the legislation was a temporary measure until the Commission that had been appointed could report back. The Commission was chaired by former Judge Sir W.H Beaumont.

The response of the colonial secretary confirms that the Natives Land Act, 1913, carried over and legalised the dispossession of African land and its natural resources. This Natives Land Act, like the South Africa Act were passed and ratified against the will of the African majority and were both illegitimate pieces of legislation. This means that the June 16, 1913 cut-off date which was imposed by the World Bank I also illegitimate and must be removed.


In order to expand the Native Land Act, 1913, section 2 provided for the appointment of a Commission to report on the areas to be reserved for African settlement and also to investigate the possibility of more land for the African population. Already on 15th August 1913, the Beaumont Commission was mandated to investigate the delimitation of areas to be set aside for European and African occupation.

The Act provided that the Commission had to report to Parliament within two years and that report had to provide a full description of the relevant areas with clear borders. Owing to the start of World War I (1914 - 1917) and the 1914 Rebellion, the Commission could only report in 1916. In the meantime, more and more land was released to European farmers. By 1916, more than 322000 ha of land had already been expropriated and made available to 470 European farmers.

The Beaumont Commission took as point of departure the Ladgen Report titled “South African Native Affairs Commission (1903 - 1905).” He saw his report as a supplement to this report. Particularly sections 193 and 195 of the Lagden report were of great importance to him. Section 193 recommended that restrictions be imposed on the purchase of land by Africans and that Africans only be allowed to purchase land determined for that purpose by law. The second part of section 193 recommended, among other things, that collective land tenure should not be allowed. Sir Beaumont also took section 195 as guideline. This section recommended that the purchase of land by Africans should not bring about conflict with European settlers and that such areas should also be identified.

African Communities which were consulted by the Beaumont Commission, including traditional leaders and their headmen, rejected the objective of the Commission and the Act. They feared that existing rights would be taken away from them or restricted. Secondly, they believed that, should total segregation be enforced, it would result in displacement of many African people. They also maintained that the Natives Land Act, 1913, was in breach of the promises the British Imperial government made to them, particularly during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899 - 1902).

The Beaumont Commission also looked at land belonging to missionary societies. These areas, in blocks of 5000 to 13000 acres, historically fell inside and outside reserved African areas, but they are particularly Native reserves intended solely for the use and benefit of African people. In Natal alone, the missionary societies owned 19 missions (a total of 144192 acres of land). The Missions, however, concentrated on their main tasks, namely religion and afforded very little attention to the training of Africans and the development of the land. Some of these missionary societies built the missions on African sacred shrines and are preventing Africans from practising their own culture and religion.


When General Hertzog and his followers left the South African Party (SAP) of General Louis Botha in 1913, he founded the National Party (NP) in 1914. This party would play a decisive role developing a policy regarding land tenure.

In the years 1917 to 1933, many discussions took place between General Smuts and General Hertzog in an effort to keep the land question outside the political arena. In 1917, in a speech in London, Smuts argued: “In South Africa you will have, in the long run, large area cultivated by blacks and governed by blacks where they will look after themselves in all their forms of living and development, while in the rest of the country you will have white communities which will govern themselves separately according to accepted European principles.”

With this, Smuts already in the first decade after the unification, made the principle of racial segregation and separate development a generally accepted policy, not only of the Settler government of the day but also even of the other political parties. The ANC did not accept this policy. For instance, in the same year (1917), Sefako Mapogo Makgatho, second president of the ANC, said: “We ask for no special favours from the government. This is the land of our fathers.

After the death of General Botha in 1919, General Smuts became Prime Minister of South Africa. This gave him an opportunity to implement his policy of separate development which took shape with the passage of the Native Affairs Act (No. 23 of 1920). This Act provided among other things for the establishment of local and general councils in African reserves or locations.

These councils comprised mainly Africans, but Native commissions also had seats in consultative capacity with the establishment of these councils in the African reserves or locations, the forms of government of traditional African communities started to be developed locally. The Native Affairs Commissioners had to advise the Minister.

The policy of separate development was refined by the Native Administration Act (No. 38 of 1927). This Act was based on the Native Administration Bill which was developed by Sir Beaumont and tabled in 1917. In it, a scheme for separate managements for African reserves or locations was proposed which was even more extensive than the schedule to the Act of 1913. This was largely intended to give shape to the Act of 1913, but it could not be steered through Parliament. Only in 1927 was the Bill tabled again and this time succeeded. This means that the Native Administration Act, 1927, refined and consolidated the policy of separate development.

The Native Administration Act ushered in a new dispensation in the local government of African communities. It took the principle of forms of government for the various African traditional communities further than the Native Act of 1920. It made the Governor General of the Union of South Africa the paramount Chief of all African traditional communities and empowered him to issue proclamations in respect of them. The Act gave the Governor General the power to appoint chiefs and headmen who were willing to cooperate with the settler governments in the administration of their Native reserves or locations. This means that royal (or blue) blood was no longer a requirement for the appointment of chiefs. It follows from these that during the colonial and apartheid rule many traditional leaders became creatures of statute, not African royal traditions
The Native Administration Act, 1927, therefore blazed the trail for recognition of the traditional form of government of traditional African communities which corrupted the institution of the African monarchy. This corrupted form of traditional form of government was only laid down in legislation in terms of the Black Local Authority Act (No. 68 of 1951).

In order to restore the legitimacy and dignity of the African monarchy, this matter must be investigated as it will also assist in the transformation of the African monarchy.

The powers of the Department of Native Affairs were indeed extended in terms of the Native Administration Act, 1927, and now dealt with a large variety of matters pertaining to the traditional African communities as separate population groups. This did not only apply to Africans in Native reserves or locations, but also to Africans on farms and in the cities. This Act also authorised the introduction of the pass system which had actually been in use even before the founding of the Union of South Africa.

The appointment of chiefs and headmen by the Governor General was a flagrant negation of the African monarchy and African customs and traditions governing it and displayed a serious lack of understanding of African customs and history. African rulers were born, not elected.

In the domain of the jurisprudence, the Act also provided for special courts for Africans because they had their own specific traditional legal customs. In this manner their own traditional courts, Commissioner Courts, Courts of Appeal and divorce courts were established, although they also had full access to the ordinary courts of the country.


From the outset the Ethiopian Movement and Native Congresses, which came together to form the ANC in 1912, rejected the Land Policy introduced by the Lagden Commission (1903 - 1905) which formed the basis of the Native Land Act (No. 27 of 1913). The ANC also rejected the Native Administration policies. For instance, President Sefako Mapogo Makgatho (1917 - 1924), the second President of the ANC from 1917 - 1924, demanded the restitution of the land to its African owners. In 1912, Reverend Z..R Mahabane pointed out At a Cape Provincial Congress of the ANC that the 1913 Natives Land Act had led to greater suffering because many Africans had been left homeless.

The leaders of the ANC were convinced that the land earmarked for African reserves or locations was simply insufficient. Even the additional land recommended by the Beaumont Commission was insufficient for two reasons: first, the poor quality of the land and secondly, that the additional seven to eight million morgen was not enough to meet the current needs or future growth of the African population.

A delegation of the ANC visited General Smuts in 1923 and discussed the Land question, particularly the influence of the Native Land Act (No. 27 of 1913) had on African people. Among other things, they emphasised that Africans were going to the cities because of the Land Act, because farmers were evicting them to avoid potential fines. The allocation of land was also the main reason why the ANC could not accept the policy of racial segregation. Yet, there were leaders who wanted to give the policy of racial segregation a chance if a fair division of the land could be agreed upon.

However, the majority was convinced that European fairness was impossible, and consequently they fought the proposed segregation policy tooth and nail.

It follows from the aforegoing evolution of the South Africa Act, 1909, and the Natives Land Act, 1913, that the British Imperial government ratified the violent dispossession of African land and its natural resources and the establishment of Whites Only Union of South Africa in violation of the rights of African people to political, social and economic self-determination. The European settlers did not buy South Africa but they want us to compensate them for returning it to the African people. In fact, the British and Dutch, as well as the beneficiaries of British and apartheid colonialism must pay reparations to indigenous African communities.

Through the 1994 Democratic breakthrough, Africans achieved only the right to political self-determination, not social and economic power.

The amendment of the Section 25 of the Constitution (Act 108 0f 1996) is the surest means for the achievement of social and economic power by African people. All political parties which respect the will of the overwhelming majority of the South African people will vote for the 18th Constitutional Amendment. The beneficiaries of the colonialism and apartheid, together with their African puppets will oppose this amendment because they are insensitive to the suffering inflicted on African people by British and apartheid colonialism.

It is also strange to find the right wing parties and the far left parties which claim to be revolutionaries, ganging up against an amendment which is the surest means for the African achievement of social and political power.