Maimane teams up with Venezuelan opposition against ‘populist’ land expropriation

Mmusi Maimane
Image: Trevor Samson

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has teamed up with the leaders of Venezuela opposition party to strengthen his party’s stance against nationalisation and the expropriation of land without compensation.

In a joint press conference on Friday with Primero Justicia leaders Miguel Alejandro Pizarro and Jose Manuel Olivares‚ Maimane warned against what he termed populist policies of the ruling ANC.

The DA is opposed to calls by the ANC and the EFF for the nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank and the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.

Maimane called Venezuela a failed state and urged South Africa to learn from that country’s mistakes.

“In many instances you find liberation movements‚ when faced with an election‚ begin to adopt policies that‚ while in the beginning may seem to speak with the language of justice‚ but are actually designed for populist and selfish benefit‚” he said.

“This in many ways is a South African story today‚ but it used to be the Venezuelan story just a few years ago.”

He said it started with a blame game and later become what Venezuela is today.

Maimane said his counterparts from Venezuela understood that constitutional democracy must reign supreme.

The two parties signed an agreement to fight against populist regimes around the world that oppress the very people they claim to speak on behalf of.

“Here in South Africa there can be simple examples: when people claim to speak for the poor yet steal from VBS [Mutual Bank]‚ where people stand up and they say publicly that we want the amendment of the Constitution so that we can expropriate land without compensation‚” said Maimane.

“Some of these policies have been tried elsewhere in the world to devastating effect.”

The comment comes after EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu’s brother‚ Brian‚ was named in a report as being among the people paid millions by VBS Mutual Bank. The inquiry into the bank was requested by the South African Reserve Bank.

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