(City Journal) -- When the South African parliament passed a motion, by 241 votes to 83, to change the nation’s constitution to allow white-owned land to be expropriated without compensation, the Guardian, Britain’s equivalent of the Washington Post, was coy about reporting it. Even now, it has not mentioned the measure on its website, except indirectly.
The reasons for this coyness can only be surmised, but one might have supposed that, given the newspaper’s long history of interest in South African affairs, a development with such potentially catastrophic long-term, and even short-term, effects would be considered of some importance. The proposal, if ever fully acted upon, would produce a crisis to dwarf Zimbabwe’s, with starvation and famine avertable only if 10 million or 15 million South Africans succeeded in finding somewhere to migrate to.
The motion in parliament was proposed by Julius Malema, a former radical member of the ruling African National Congress, now leader of a splinter party called the Economic Freedom Fighters, which received 6 per cent of the vote and has the same proportion of seats in the parliament. They dress entirely in red and call for radical redistribution of wealth, as if an economy were a stew or soup to be ladled out in portions. Malema, who, if the large financial scandals connected with his person are anything to go by, excludes himself from his own economic egalitarianism, said in 2016 that he was not calling for the slaughter of whites—at least, not yet.
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