Southern Africa, especially neighbours Namibia and South Africa are going through a historically and economically critical chapter that could forever reshape their destinies.
This chapter is around land, particularly its expropriation without compensating the minorities that possess it – mostly descendants of invaders who took land from the natives through the barrel of the gun.
It must be stated from the onset that some black elites in both countries own huge tracts of land, although many would argue they didn’t acquire theirs through forceful removals and bloodshed.
South Africa is miles ahead of Namibia in this regard, with consultations nearly completed on whether government should go ahead with expropriation without compensation, a position adopted at the ANC elective conference late last year.
As expected, approval of this approach has by far dwarfed islands of dissent and, as it stands, it looks like South Africa is on course to embark on this historic chapter – which embodies equity and restorative justice.
But before a single inch of land has been expropriated, South Africa is already receiving threats from right-wing leaders of the world such as President Donald Trump of USA, who on Wednesday tweeted that he is following closely the development in South Africa.
Trump, uniformed as he often is, claimed there were farm ‘seizures’ and ‘large scale killing of farmers’, supposedly as part of the expropriations.
It is said that it was the first time Trump tweeted the word ‘Africa’ for the first time as president — and it’s in defence of whites in South Africa.
It is now thought that once South Africa goes ahead with expropriations, economic sanctions – a weapon often used against African countries seeking to correct the colonial past - are likely to be imposed on South Africa.
Murmurs of expropriation without compensation have picked up volume in Namibia and if the country follows the example of South Africa, we too would risk attracting sanctions, trumpeted by strongmen like Trump and his cronies.
Yet, no one said this was going to be a Sunday picnic. Africa knew too well that land redistribution is a revolution, and throughout history of mankind there was never a single revolution without casualties, whether in literal or metaphoric sense.
Land and that which is produced on it forms the basis of livelihood and the very existence of mankind. Now, unless Trump and his likeminded believe that only people of the white race must live and exist, blacks too shall demand their rights equally.
True, expropriation without compensation must be conducted in an orderly, non-barbaric fashion. But whether it would be executed or not is a question answered in affirmation ages ago – and now is time to implement what is demanded by the majority of our citizens.
African countries must thus not capitulate under veiled threats of extremists who derive joy in the suffering of the black man. We must no longer be held at ransom by threats of sanctions, as it was that exact chorus that helped maintain the status quo.
This journey that we have started will be long, thorny and bumpy. Albert Einstein has already cleared the path by stating that there is a driving force more powerful than steam, electricity and nuclear power, and that power is human will. The time for sharing land equitably is upon us.