Julius Malema told a Press Club in Cape Town that a peaceful land reform without compensation will stop Anarchy in South Africa. Malema said his people would never arrive at the Promised Land if the land reform issues were not resolved. Malema referred to past attempts as failures and warned that if political parties did not take up the cause of land reform, the poor landless people would rise and seize the land.
White farmers had not acquired the land by honest means and Malema repeatedly said no compensation would be forthcoming. Malema said the white people took the land and did not pay for the land, but committed black genocide. The blacks who survived the onslaught were transformed into slaves and crime would not be rewarded, Malema told a predominantly white audience. Malema told his viewers to hand over their property.
An audit report submitted in 2013 revealed that the state owned a mere fourteen percent of all South African land, and seventy-nine percent was held privately. The report did not reveal race, color, creed or nationality of the privately owned land and compiling these stats would be impossible. Seven percent of the land remains unaccounted for in the audit. The former homelands created during the apartheid years were not included in the report.
Black South Africans effectively own large areas of state land that fall under the possession of traditional African leaders who allocate the land to tribes and these areas are not registered. The assertion that seventy-nine percent of the land was in the hands of private individuals or companies is devoid of the factual truth.
Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti admitted that private land ownership remains a serious problem. Nkwinti said that a particular part of South African history had to be corrected and the African National Congress (ANC) ruling party could not expect voters to continue supporting the party if there was no real change in their lives.
Malema said that leadership must be organized to lead people that are demanding ownership of land. If no leadership exists then the people will lead themselves. This could lead to a revolution and anarchy. Malema assured the audience that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party was committed to honoring Nelson Mandela’s vision of multi-racialism and wanted to share the wealth with the white people.
Malema launched a scathing attack on the leaders of the ANC and in particular President Jacob Zuma. Black landowners were one of the motivations for the formation of the ANC and it has lost is way since coming into power over twenty years ago, Malema said. The ANC had yet to find an alternative solution for the land expropriation policy.
Malema said he made a mistake by supporting Zuma in the past and was now correcting the issues through the EFF. He said his party had apologized to the people for past regrets. According to Malema, Zuma is a cynical leader with no respect for parliament. Malema wants Zuma removed as president and insisted that the EFF would continue supporting this motion.
What Malema failed to realize was the amount of productive land in South Africa averages about forty percent. Malema failed to address the vast amount of food-producing land given to blacks during the past 20 years and the failure causing land to become barren. Malema failed to take into account the thirty-two percent of South African land given to the nine different ethnic groups during the 1970s to create their culture with an opportunity to govern the land successfully. Malema failed to add that the apartheid government gave the different ethnic groups the resources to implement successful states, yet they failed.
Malema failed to tell the audience that it was not only white land that must be expropriated, but also land stolen by black tribes. Land grabbing through violent means among African cultures happened in the past; therefore, the land reform should not be an opportunity to force whites off the land.
Forcibly removing productive land from successful farmers produces famine, unemployment, crime, and the northern border countries confirm the collapse of productivity that often occurs as a result of land grabs like the ones which Malema proposes. The warning by Malema that anarchy will happen if land reform is not honored is another attempt to display the ignorance and disrespect of the constitution.
Opinion by Laura Oneale