Parliament can move ahead with amending Section 25 of the Constitution without any fear of legal challenges.
In 2018, the Western Cape High Court dismissed lobby group AfriForum’s urgent application to interdict Parliament from adopting the Constitutional Review Committee’s first report on land expropriation without compensation.
On Friday, the ad hoc committee to amend Section 25 of the Constitution received a briefing by Parliamentary Legal Services on the implications of the court order and AfriForum’s legal challenge.
Despite their earlier setback, AfriForum had vowed to continue their fight against land expropriation without compensation.
But Parliament legal advisors gave the committee the green light to amend Section 25.
Parliament legal advisor Nathi Mjenxane says the AfriForum matter has no bearing on the committee’s work.
“The view from our senior counsel, who represented us at the High Court in the AfriForum legal challenge, is that this matter is mute on the basis that the assembly has already resolved the matter. Therefore, the review application that the AfriForum sought has become obsolete.”
Former Environmental Affairs Minister Valli Moosa, who was part of the team that developed the Constitution, told the committee there’s nothing legally stopping Parliament from amending it.
“It’s not illegal or illegitimate to amend the Bill of Rights because if it was the Constitution would have said so.”
LISTEN: How land expropriation policy will affect urban housing