Cyril Ramaphosa

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South Africa’s president greets voters at a polling station in Johannesburg

South Africa lurches toward uncompensated land seizures

The politically explosive land question has been revived in South Africa at an awkward moment. A motion by the Marxist-Leninist opposition to allow farmland to be expropriated without compensation hit the ruling African National Congress (ANC) as it was beset by corruption scandals, a slumping economy, and widespread voter disillusionment with the vision of a “rainbow” society. Racialized land seizures may serve as a brief political diversion, but as the case of Zimbabwe shows, it will only make the underlying problems worse.

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