Previous posts in this discussion:
PostSouth Africa to Confiscate White Property Without Compensation (Timothy Ashby, South Africa, 03/13/18 4:50 am)
On February 27 the South African parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of a motion that will begin the process of amending the country's Constitution to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation.
The motion was introduced by Julius Malema, leader of the radical Marxist opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who in 2016 stated that he was "not calling for the slaughter of white people--at least for now." He and his followers are in a (nonetheless dangerous) minority. but I don't discount such sentiments when SA has a 53% youth unemployment rate and an official unemployment rate of around 28% (which is probably too low). The EFF has gained ground in the poor communities and I have long expected politicians like Malema to exploit the resentment and ignorance of the masses. This is a prime example of populism--which has reared (and is rearing) its ugly head across the world, Trump being the prime example. Obviously, the ruling ANC is moving to the far left to bolster its prospects in next year's elections.
Having spoken to numerous South African friends--white, black, "coloured" and Asian--I have no doubt that the government will carry out the confiscations and follow the sorry example of Zimbabwe in destroying the economy. Already, EFF thugs have occupied white-owned farms in Gauteng province, murdering and beating the occupants (including black workers to "teach them a lesson about cooperating with the criminals who stole our land"). Last year more than 70 white farmers were killed in 340 attacks, making farming more dangerous than being a police officer, according to the African News Agency.
While the amendment is targeting agricultural properties (which I have been informed will include iconic wine farms that are a major contributor to the SA economy), we suspect that it will eventually be extended to residences, especially second or holiday homes given the widespread housing crisis and envy of the "haves" by the "have nots." Having nearly lost our family's house in Grenada after the Communist Revolution of 1979 (the government had published a list in the official gazette of foreigners' properties to be confiscated just days before the very welcome US invasion of 1983), we are concerned about this happening in South Africa. Although some of our South African friends believe that the government will not allow the country to go down the Zimbabwe road to perdition, I do not have faith in the sagacity or pragmatism of politicians of any race.
In the UK, the Labour Party has announced that it is "studying" whether to confiscate houses and apartments that are not being lived in full-time and use them for public housing. Inevitably, Jeremy Corbyn will become Prime Minister due to the utter shambles that characterizes the current Conservative government. In London, we are already seeing property values fall due to concerns about Brexit and a Labour government. My point in this regard is that politicians are more interested in power and feeding their egos than in what's best for their country and people.
Back to South Africa--we're preparing for the impending economic and social disaster there. We recently bought a house on Mallorca and plan to gradually spend more time on that delightful fragment of España. It is safe, friendly and relatively warm compared to the UK (and even SA during much of the year). We're not sure what we'll do with our house in SA longer term, but in the near term we've decided to rent it on a weekly or monthly basis, and we're in the process of selling our car there, and will ship our heirloom items--mainly pictures, some dating to Elizabethan times--back to the UK for safekeeping (I doubt that "Jez" Corbyn and his Marxist cronies will confiscate those).
JE comments: Timothy Ashby has a gorgeous coastal house in South Africa (I've seen photos). Are you planning to give up on Africa altogether, Tim?
The Economic Freedom Fighters sound like they are hell-bent on turning South Africa into the next Zimbabwe. Tim, are the ZA elite in a full panic, or just sort of nervous?
Stay safe, Tim.
Would a Corbyn Government Confiscate Properties?
(John Heelan, UK
03/14/18 3:16 AM)
Tim Ashby wrote on March 13th: "In the UK, the Labour Party has announced that it is 'studying' whether to confiscate houses and apartments that are not being lived in full-time and use them for public housing. Inevitably, Jeremy Corbyn will become Prime Minister due to the utter shambles that characterizes the current Conservative government. In London, we are already seeing property values fall due to concerns about Brexit and a Labour government. My point in this regard is that politicians are more interested in power and feeding their egos than in what's best for their country and people."
I tend to agree: This is true of most politicians, who appear to focus their attention on securing lucrative post-politics careers in the private sector by pimping their contacts, aided and abetted by the supposedly independent Westminster committee supervising such actions.
However, I also fear that the mask is slipping from the Trotskyists of the Momentum action group to reveal their underlying Stalinist tendencies--e.g. rejecting democracy by deselecting parliamentary candidates who fail to commit to support Corbyn, as well as their successful bids using faux-democracy to determine Labour Party policies.
By the way, property prices of the Isle of Wight have increased by 26.43%, over the last five years. Maybe it is the result of those Londoners looking for second homes in a good place to live? The net effect is that young Islanders find it almost impossible to take the first step on the property ladder, despite the (all but invisible) supply of "affordable homes" boasted by the Tory government.
JE comments: Perhaps this is the inspiration for Labour's "study" on confiscating unoccupied properties. How many these are owned by Putin's cronies? Remember Istvan Simon's suggestions for retaliation in the Skripal case. Boris Volodarsky (next) has sent a response to Istvan.
(Adrian remains delightfully affordable, John. Tell the young Islanders to move here! We have fresh air and plenty of water in the form of the area's lakes.)
- South Africa Property Confiscations: Will There Be White Pushback? (Edward Jajko, USA 03/14/18 4:57 AM)
Given the murders of white farmers in South Africa (see Tim Ashby, 13 March), have other white farmers armed themselves to protect their lives and property?
Do South African laws allow them to do so?
JE comments: Yes, Tim: could you walk us through the gun laws in S Africa?
- Expulsions from Italian Africa post-WWII (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 03/16/18 1:33 AM)
I am very sorry for the problems which Timothy Ashby may face with his property in South Africa (13 March). Let us hope that nothing bad happens.
However, does the fact that the new South Africa (after the Great Mandela) voted for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation come as a surprise? Unfortunately. after confiscation, expulsion may come next.
A similar situation developed immediately after the end of WWII, when the Italians were thrown out of Africa under the benevolent eye of the victors. See my post of 13 January 2017.
Many Italians were living in Africa in 1939: 50,000 in Egypt, 96,500 in Tunisia (according the French census but 150,000 according the Italians), 16,000 in Morocco, 115,000 in Libya, and 166,000 in Italian East Africa. Practically all were kicked out, but to be honest the Negus Ailè Selasiè defended the Italians.
Then the French people were also kicked out. The nice fellow here was the great Leopold Senghor.
Finally in South Africa we had the magnificent Nelson Mandela, who gave hope to all the world with his actions. Other than these three gentlemen, there has been a long list of corrupt and racist leaders.
The Black Homeland Citizenship Act of 1970 was devised to protect the white British and Boer minorities. Theoretically the policy could have worked if the Homelands (Bantustans) had been drawn according to workable borders surrounding large and sufficiently united areas. In reality only Transkey was efficient and reached a kind of independence. All the others were unacceptable Homelands of small isolated areas or leopard spots. See for instance Kwazulu, a real insult to the Zulu people, or even worse Bophuthatswana.
By the way, the Homelands in South Africa were supposed to number 9 in all, besides the three mentioned above, there were Lebowa, Venda, Gazankulu, Swazi, Basotho Qwaqwa and Ciskei, together with other Homelands in South West Africa. How the plan was presented can be compared to the ridiculous idea of a Palestinian State by Israel.
For sure, under the leadership of Julius Malema, South Africa will become a new Zimbabwe and eventually the black population will have to emigrate too. Do not worry, as the lousy Italian government, with the support of Bishop Bergoglio, has kept the borders open for whoever wanted to enter, even if in Italy there are no possibilities for housing or work (millions of Italians are already unemployed).
JE comments: Not much optimism from Eugenio Battaglia, but I must air one curiosity: why do you refer to Pope Francis as "Bishop Bergoglio"? Wouldn't that be like calling Trump a real-estate huckster, or Mussolini a newspaperman? (And Eugenio, is there truth to Francis's Wikipedia biography, which says his father emigrated from Italy to Argentina in 1929, to "escape" from Mussolini?)
- Leaving South Africa (Timothy Ashby, South Africa 03/25/18 4:40 AM)
John E asked if we are planning to give up on Africa altogether, and whether the ZA elite in a full panic, or just sort of nervous?
I have the benefit of contacts in the intelligence community and friends (also mainly ex-Mi6, CIA and DIA) who specialize in commercial and political risk analyses for investors and major corporations. The growing consensus is that South Africa is heading down the same disastrous road as Zimbabwe (which, by the way, has changed for the better since Mugabe's departure from the presidency of that benighted country).
To answer your questions; yes, we are planning to give up on South Africa and have begun quietly disposing of assets--as have other people that we know. The ZA elite is not in full panic, but tens of thousands of white citizens are actively planning to abandon the country, and emigrate to Australia and any other safe haven country that will take them:
I applaud the UK´s The Independent newspaper for its realistic reporting of the worsening crisis in South Africa. Despite the ANC's denials that such vicious attacks are not racially motivated, everyone knows that they are. The global media largely ignores this tragedy, but imagine the universal outcry if any country announced that it was confiscating the land of black citizens without compensation and turning a blind eye to brutal attacks on them:
Rosemary and I have just moved into our house in Mallorca and feel safe and secure here on a beautiful island with warm-hearted people, fascinating history and relatively inexpensive compared to the UK and France. We´re also just a 2-hour flight from London, where we have our businesses (I have just launched GloblMed) and my daughter will be working in the Rolls Royce PLC corporate HQ in London after she returns from China in September.
JE comments: This is a crisis-in-waiting you just don't see in the news. Are the media in the US and Western Europe still under the spell of Mandela's ANC, which defeated Apartheid and enjoyed an extended "honeymoon" period? Tim and Rosemary's exodus gives new meaning to the concept of divesting in South Africa...
Best of luck with settling into your new home and homeland, Tim.
Correction: Zimbabwe Has NOT Changed for the Better After Mugabe
(Timothy Ashby, South Africa
03/26/18 4:08 PM)
A slight correction to what I wrote about Zimbabwe (25 March).
I meant to write that Zimbabwe has NOT changed for the better since Mugabe's departure. The cronyism, corruption and disastrous economic mismanagement are as bad as ever, and Mugabe and his perfidious wife and children continue to live like Middle Eastern potentates.
I believe that the liberal media in the West turn a blind eye partially because it is politically correct to see white people (especially white South Africans) as the "bad guys" and black people as the "good guys," and partially because they buy the canard that confiscation of white-owned properties without compensation redresses historical injustices and won't harm the South African economy as the ANC leadership claims. This is blatant racism.
Of course, the people who will ultimately suffer adverse economic consequences will be the poor, average black South Africans, as the white farmers can leave and start over elsewhere (as happened in Zimbabwe).
JE comments: Even more bluntly, there may be no way to criticize ANC policies in S Africa without being labeled an "apologist" for the Old Order (read: Apartheid). With its silence, the media is showing that it prefers to avoid this trap altogether.
Britain's Land Grab and the Mau Mau Uprising
(John Heelan, UK
03/27/18 7:33 AM)
In response to Timothy Ashby (25 and 26 March), one should not forget a similar stain on the British Empire--the crushing of the Mau Mau rebellion, which was caused by the increasing economic marginalisation of the indigenous Kikuyu as years of white settler expansion ate away at their land holdings.
Since 1945, nationalists like Jomo Kenyatta of the Kenya African Union (KAU) had been pressing the British government in vain for political rights and land reforms, with valuable holdings in the cooler Highlands to be redistributed to African owners.
One hopes that South Africa will not fall into a similar trap.
JE comments: Decolonization invariably includes some sort of land reform. The rub is how to do so fairly, without corruption or economic devastation. South Africa had been a model of successful decolonization, in contrast with Zimbabwe. Perhaps in a few years' time, we'll no longer be able to say that.
I had a further question for Tim Ashby: I see no indication on the 'Net that prices for "expat housing" in S Africa have been declining. If Europeans are leaving in droves, shouldn't there be a collapse in property values? Has there been a concomitant increase in, say, purchases from China?
Real Estate Prices in S Africa "Softening"
(Timothy Ashby, South Africa
03/28/18 4:15 AM)
John Eipper asked if there has been a collapse in property values in South Africa as a result of the impending confiscation of white-owned farms and escalating attacks on white farmers.
Whites (by the way, our SA friends, many of whose families have lived in Southern Africa for over 300 years, don't consider themselves "Europeans") are not yet leaving in droves because it is still too early--although it seems that Australia will offer them special refugee visas.
Yesterday I spoke to two of our real estate broker friends who said that property values are indeed "softening" and that offers for property are much lower than asking prices and some sellers are accepting these.
Our little seaside community is usually swarming with visitors over the Easter Week holiday, but our friends report that it is eerily quiet because people are afraid to travel and South Africans (who represent the bulk of visitors at this time of year) are staying at home to defend their properties (yes, with firearms). Last weekend the resort town of Hermanus--similar to St Francis Bay and not far away--experienced riots and attacks, including burning a police station, community center and the library, driving residents from their homes into safe haven buildings protected by armed residents and private security personnel while police fought the rioters. Ostensibly, the riots were due to frustration with the slow pace of building public housing by the local government (controlled by the Democratic Alliance, the private enterprise party opposed to confiscation of white properties). However, the riots were organised by the Marxist EFF, and many of the rioters were "outsiders" as reported by the police, who arrested nine of them "armed with dangerous weapons."
There were indeed terrible injustices committed during the era of Apartheid and the previous colonial epoch, but the economic and social history of South Africa is extremely complicated and many of the early white settlers arrived long before the ancestors of the current Xhosa and other black tribes migrated from the north. Land reform in South Africa, as it was in Zimbabwe, is a convenient excuse for grabbing valuable assets and gaining political power by a privileged (black) minority like Mugabe, Malema and the billionaire new president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa.
JE comments: Ramaphosa has been president only since February. Tim, what can you tell us about him? Wikipedia puts his fortune at over $500 million--from businesses varied and wide, including McDonald's and Coca-Cola. He got his start as a trades union activist. The common view is that Ramaphosa is spectacularly corrupt, but nothing has ever "stuck."
What's the deal with billionaires becoming presidents? In the old days, you got stinking rich only after assuming office...
- Real Estate Prices in S Africa "Softening" (Timothy Ashby, South Africa 03/28/18 4:15 AM)
- Britain's Land Grab and the Mau Mau Uprising (John Heelan, UK 03/27/18 7:33 AM)
- South Africa Property Confiscations: Will There Be White Pushback? (Edward Jajko, USA 03/14/18 4:57 AM)