EFF leader Julius Malema has told his supporters that they should occupy any white land that they want, flying in the face of an ongoing court battle where he has been brought to book for similar statements in the past.
Malema was addressing a crowd after his court case was postponed to 2017. He is facing charges of violating the Riotous Assemblies Act, by calling for EFF members to illegally occupy land. The case is based on two charges, the earliest of which was in 2014.
“When we leave here, you will see any beautiful piece of land, you like it, occupy it, it belongs to you… It is the land that was taken from us by white people by force through genocide,” he said.
The EFF leader has sparked outrage over racially-charged utterances in the past, telling white people that they have been warned, and that they are not welcome in the country – which his party refers to as Azania.
Last week, Malema bordered on hate speech by saying that he was not seeking to slaughter white people – adding “at least not yet”, while addressing supporters outside court.
In an about turn, he has now clarified his position, saying that “I will never kill white people, why should I kill them? I will never (take) revenge for what they did … I’m asking politely for the land to be returned,” he said.
Malema has also clarified his ‘public’ position on whites in South Africa, saying that they are welcome to land in the country, but they will never own it, as they are only visitors here.
Malema said the length of a visitor’s stay depended on their conduct.
“If you continue to misbehave, feeding our people to lions, putting them in coffins while they are still alive, then you are applying for something else,” be warned he said.
Malema called on white people to stop being crybabies, telling them that they are scared because they know what they had done to their black counterparts.
“You are troubled because of what you have done to us because you think we are like you. We are not like you, no white man will be driven to the sea. We…need you to see black people prospering.”
The EFF is only three years old and is still in its political infancy; however the party commands a large support base, which has shown to be increasing.
In the 2014 National Elections the party received just under 1.2 million votes (6.4%) – jumping to just under 2.5 million votes in 2016 (8.2%).
The party has backed its leader, saying that the policy of land occupation, and taking back the land from white owners without compensation is EFF policy. The party said that it is not Malema on trial for his comments – but the entire EFF for it ideology.