'Banning' ANCYL empowers right - Malema
Johannesburg - The banning of a "radical voice" within the ANC has boosted the confidence of right-wing leaders who believe that black people have no share in the land, suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema said.
"They are saying South Africa doesn't belong to us. They say so because they know the radical voice of the African National Congress is banned," Malema told a crowd attending the league's centenary rally in Kliptown in Soweto on Sunday.
"They started with the songs and we thought they were playing. They told us we can't sing liberation songs because they were slowly gaining confidence."
On September 12, Malema was found guilty of hate speech for singing the struggle-song dubul' ibhunu (shoot the boer), in the High Court in Johannesburg after the Afrikaner civil rights group AfriForum Youth claimed white farmers felt vulnerable because of the song .
In reference to recent comments by Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder, Malema said: "We are now told by a rightwinger, the leader of a racist organisation, that we don't belong to this land, this not our land."
Mulder, who is also the deputy minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, recently said there was sufficient evidence that there were no Bantu-speaking people in the Western Cape and north-western Cape, which constituted 40% of South Africa's land.
He has since defended his statement, saying he was being misunderstood and that he was merely reacting to arguments that white people had stolen land.
Malema accused the ANC leadership of shying away from putting Mulder in his place. This was despite President Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe saying last week that Mulder was "trying to rewrite history".
"Our leadership instead of attending to him thoroughly and put him at his place, they are avoiding him...He cannot be avoided," Malema said to thunderous applause from supporters who gathered in the scorching heat.
He warned that if the leadership of the ANC was not prepared to defend the land, then the "economic freedom fighters" would defend it.
"We will never disappoint Madiba [former president Nelson Mandela]...We will never sell out what he believed in," said Malema.
"This is our land and we know the history of this land. We know the settlers have committed a black genocide, they have killed Africans while they grabbed this land.
"They turned landowners into slaves of this land and today they have the courage to tell us this is not our land after killing our grandfathers, after stealing from us."
In an interview with Sunday Independent, Mulder said technically, no one can lay claim to land in South Africa.
"We have got a complicated system. Nobody can say this is my total land," he said, adding that his argument came from history.
Malema said the ANC in it's inception in 1912, brought together all Africans and identified a "common enemy".
"The enemy was the person who stole land. We belong here. We don't need approval from settlers."