In South Africa, it can be easy to overlook racism when it isn’t coming from the mouths of white people. But Julius Malema, head of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party is no worse than the architects and enforcers of apartheid in the dark days of National Party rule, is the message from the FW de Klerk Foundation. It notes that his comments, some of them hinting at a violent land grab campaign in future, contravene the Constitution. Prohibitions on inciting violence and advocating hatred based on race apply to everyone in South Africa, including Malema. It is right that Malema should be pursued in the courts, not only to indicate that racism in all its ugly forms is not tolerated in South Africa – but in the interests of economic progress in South Africa. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what violent, hatred-fuelled land grabs do to a country. Just ask the Zimbabweans, who watched their country slide swiftly into a destructive spiral after wiping out their commercial agricultural sector by doing exactly as Malema is proposing. Disadvantaged Zimbabweans were given land, but – generally ill-equipped and lacking finances to run farming businesses – most are probably worse off today than in the past. White people have largely disappeared from Zimbabwe as have foreign investors; remaining Zimbabweans mostly languish in poverty, aside from a politically powerful elite. Malema’s party doesn’t call the shots in South Africa, but his rhetoric resonates with many people. – Jackie Cameron
Not merely the rantings of an infantile politician
Statement by the FW de Klerk Foundation on Julius Malema’s statements
According to media reports and transcripts Julius Malema told his supporters outside the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court yesterday that:
“We, the rightful owners, our peace was disturbed by white man’s arrival here…They killed our people during land dispossession…They found peaceful Africans here. They killed them! They slaughtered them, like animals! We are not calling for the slaughter of white people, at least for now”.
“We will not chase white people into the sea. We will give them portion…That is where you stay. And you can’t own bigger than us. You are a visitor. Visitors must behave. They must know the land belongs to the people of South Africa, the indigenous people of South Africa… No white person is a rightful owner of the land here in South Africa and in the whole of the African continent. This is our continent; it belongs to us”.
“The people who belong to the court is (sic) FW de Klerk and all those whites who stole our land. But white minorities be warned, we will take our land. It doesn’t matter how…The land will be taken by whatever means necessary”.
Why is it important to take serious note of these comments and not dismiss them (as many do) as the rantings of an infantile political leader? Because Mr Malema’s statements are a repudiation of the core values on which our Constitution is founded – including human dignity, the achievement of equality, and the advancement of human rights and freedoms and non-racialism. It is also a direct contravention of section 16(2) of the Constitution which prohibits “propaganda for war; incitement of imminent violence; or advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.” Mr. Malema’s reference to the Constitution outside the court in Newcastle is a serious test of our collective understanding of our constitutional values.
- The FW de Klerk Foundation promotes and preserves FW de Klerk’s presidential heritage by supporting the causes for which he worked during his presidency. This includes supporting and promoting the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law through the activities of the Centre for Constitutional Rights.
White land grab threats – Malema
By Tshidi Madia
Newcastle – Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has remained defiant in his call for black South Africans to take back unoccupied land.
“We will take our land no matter how. It’s becoming unavoidable, it’s becoming inevitable,” said Malema.
He said land would be taken and returned to black people by whatever means necessary.
Malema was addressing thousands of supporters outside the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Minutes before that, he had been in the dock on charges of contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act for making similar remarks on June 26 at a Freedom Charter rally in the area.
Outside the court, he blamed the African National Congress government for going after him because he dared to disturb the comfort of the white minority in the country.
“They have been swimming in a pool of privilege; they have been enjoying themselves because they always owned our land. We the rightful owners, our peace was disturbed by the white man’s arrival here.”
He accused white people in the country of committing black genocide, saying they had slaughtered Africans as if they were animals.
“We are not calling for the slaughtering of white people… at least for now,” he said, adding that all black people wanted was their land back.
He accused the ANC government of protecting white privilege and pursuing him using an apartheid era law.
The EFF leader, who told the crowd that the gains made in 1994 meant nothing without land ownership for black people, said black people remained servants to their white counterparts in South Africa.
— EFF Official Account (@EFFSouthAfrica) November 7, 2016
Malema spoke at length about the Constitution and President Jacob Zuma and told supporters that he was willing to lose his job, go to jail, or even be tortured over the land question.
“If it means going to prison for telling you to take the land, so be it. I am not scared of going to prison because of the land question, but I am scared of going to prison for corruption.”
Zuma a ‘by the way’
He also warned against the continued white ownership of the economy, and had a word of advice for “white people” who supported his attacks on the president, saying Zuma was not the main issue.
“Zuma is a ‘by the way’, so white people before you clap hands for the EFF, you must think twice. It’s like when you travel in a car and you get a puncture, you fix the tyre, but the journey continues.”
He said the end goal was the defeat of white monopoly capital.
Malema: Children have been fighting for their parents (#FeesMustFall) now we call in the parents tomorrow to come and fight for themselves
— Karabo Mokgoko (@Karabo_Mokgoko) November 1, 2016
Malema first made the call for the illegal occupation of land at the EFF’s national people’s assembly in 2014. He will appear in the regional court in Mangaung on November 14 for a similar charge.
The court case in Newcastle was postponed to December 7 pending an application that his lawyer, Tumi Mokwena, said they would put to the High Court, challenging the Act’s constitutionality.
Magistrate Ian Colditz said if he showed proof of the application, the matter would then be moved to May 2017. – News24