We’ll take back our land, Juju tells Jews

2011-04-09 20:04

The ANC’s land distribution policy has failed and the land taken from blacks since 1913 should be taken back from whites without compensation, says ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.

Speaking at a dinner attended by members of the South African Jewish Students Union in Cape Town on Friday night, Malema said black people were not ­compensated when their land was taken from them after the 1913 Land Act was ­effected. Therefore, white people did not have to be compensated when the same land was taken back.

Malema was at his mercurial best – at times friendly, then aggressive; reconciliatory and hostile; and non-racial and ­racially charged.

First he told the audience not to be frightened by his proposals because he was only offering an opinion and could be persuaded to change it.

Then he told the audience how focused the youth league was on getting its ideals confirmed as ­government policy.

He indicated, on ­several occasions, that the league’s policy differed from the ANC’s, particularly on land reform, ­mining and the country’s ­relationship with China.

He said the youth league would on Tuesday release its first comprehensive policy document on the state of the economy.

On land policy, Malema said the concept of “willing buyer, willing seller” had failed.

“Targets were set but not met. Land was taken from black people without compensation. My grandmother was forcibly removed, and she can still tell you about it.

“It’s like a thug taking your toys, you have to pay him R2 to get it back. There were such thugs when I grew up,” an ­emotional Malema said.

He told an, at times, uncomfortable ­audience: “Yes, the youth league is radical!” But his questioning of the ANC’s policy towards China was met with rapturous ­applause.

He said China’s behaviour in Africa is worse than previous colonial occupiers, because the Chinese are plundering the continent’s resources without even using the local labour force.

He also questioned South Africa’s involvement in Brics – an economic grouping with Brazil, Russia, India and China. He said South Africa did not have much to contribute economically and the bigger countries would simply overwhelm us.

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