02/06/2017 10:04 SAST | Updated 02/06/2017 10:17 SAST

Zuma Promises No Zimbabwe-Style Land Grabs

President Jacob Zuma has told Parliament that land redistribution will happen within the bounds of the law.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters
President Jacob Zuma jokes with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa after addressing Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, May 31, 2017.

President Jacob Zuma has assured South Africans that there will be no Zimbabwe-style land grabs, Business Day reported on Friday.

Zuma addressed the National Assembly on Thursday during the presidency budget vote debate. He reportedly said the land issue would be dealt with within the boundaries of the law.

Pieter Groenewald from the Freedom Front Plus reportedly asked Zuma "to tell white people where they stand".

According to Business Day, Zuma said he did not hate white people.

"We will not do [land reform] like Zimbabwe. This is SA, not Zimbabwe. Why do you think I hate whites? I have said if we fail to address the land question, we will sit down and look at changing the law. That is my position and that of the ANC. It will all be done within the law," he reportedly said.

Zuma has been accused of sending mixed signals on land reform in the past.

According to Fin24, in February, Zuma said the law would be changed to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

He reportedly said:

"[In order] to achieve all the goals mentioned in the State of the Nation Address government is busy amending all the laws and policies to enable faster land reform, including land expropriation without compensation as provided for in the constitution."

Little more than a month later, at a Human Rights Day celebration in the Eastern Cape, Zuma appeared to say something different.

Business Day quoted Zuma as saying: "As part of our commitment to the restoration of human dignity of our people, we will be taking practical and reasonable measures to return the land to the people. We will use all available instruments necessary in expediting land redistribution and respond to land hunger."