16/05/2018 14:20 SAST | Updated 18/05/2018 15:55 SAST

AfriForum's Roets Tells Fox News 'Parliament Has Already Decided' About Expropriation... But It Hasn't

Fox News host Tucker Carlson told his audience white farmers in South Africa are suffering under a "wave of barbaric attacks".


Ernst Roets, deputy CEO of Afrikaner-rights group AfriForum told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the South African Parliament has adopted a motion to change the Constitution in order to expropriate land without compensation.

"A motion was adopted that the property rights clause in the South African Constitution has to be changed to allow for the expropriation of private property without compensation," Roets told Carlson during the six-minute interview.

The minutes of the National Assembly, however, state that Parliament merely mandated the constitutional review committee to "review section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses where necessary". The motion makes no reference to any decision having been taken to amend or to change the Constitution yet.

The motion was in fact amended to remove the EFF's proposal that the Constitution "must" be changed.

Professor Pierre de Vos, constitutional law expert at the University of Cape Town, confirms that the motion adopted by Parliament does not say the Constitution must be changed. "The committee has been tasked with reviewing [section 25]. We don't know what will happen; whether the Constitution will be changed — or even if it is, how it is going to look," De Vos told HuffPost.

Thomas Walters, DA MP and spokesperson on rural development and land reform, agrees with De Vos. "It is factually incorrect to say Parliament decided to change the Constitution. The EFF might push for a change, but the committee will have to consider whether or not it should be done."

Carlson, a favourite commentator among conservative Americans, told his viewers the South African government is pursuing a policy of "seizing land without any compensation based purely on ethnicity" in his opening statement, saying white farmers are "the target of a wave of barbaric attacks".

Roets told Carlson's audience the situation in South Africa is "very dire".

AfriForum visited the U.S. last week, meeting a range of people in Dallas and Washington, D.C. Roets seemingly did extensive promotional work for his book, "Kill The Boer", in which he accuses government of complicity in farm murders and warns about a "looming process of ethnic cleansing".

In the short interview, Roets didn't correct misleading statements by Carlson, instead preferring to focus on his upcoming book. Carlson told Roets the book describes "a campaign to crush a minority and that the government seems on board with it. Is that an overstatement?" Roets replies by talking about what his book argues around government's "complicity" in the "scourge" of farm murders. He does not comment on Carlson's comments on the "crushing" of a minority.

Carlson also put it to Roets that government has "announced" that it will "pursue a policy of taking land away from people on the basis of skin colour". Government, however, has made no such "announcement" — although Roets again did not correct him, saying: "Well that's what was adopted in our Parliament in February. A motion was adopted that the property rights clause in the South African Constitution has to be changed to allow for the expropriation of private property without compensation."

Roets added that the "good news", however, is that there is still a process to be followed.

The Fox News crawl during the broadcast claimed "World ignores brutal white farmer attacks" and that "Liberal media thinks it's wrong to discuss attacks on white farmers".

Roets, who told Carlson the country wasn't the one former president Nelson Mandela envisaged, said government seems to be pursuing communist policies that had failed in places like Zimbabwe, Venezuela, China, Russia and Cuba. "You know that saying, that 'real communism has never been tried'... that's what they keep saying. They're basically saying: 'We're going to try the same thing, but this time it's going to work'," he alleged.

The AfriForum deputy CEO will be debating Professor Elmien du Plessis of North-West University's faculty of law tonight on kykNET at 9.30pm. Roets attacked her last week, after she criticised AfriForum's claims regarding farm murders.