Land: The people speak – Malema demands that all voices be heard

2018-06-28 20:05
EFF leader Julius Malema has lashed out at the way Africans are perceived when talking about white or Indian racism. (Tebogo Letsie, Gallo Images, City Press, file)

EFF leader Julius Malema has lashed out at the way Africans are perceived when talking about white or Indian racism. (Tebogo Letsie, Gallo Images, City Press, file)

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Despite being a driving force behind the campaign for land expropriation without compensation, EFF leader Julius Malema was steadfast during public hearings in Mokopane, Limpopo, that those with differing views must be heard.

Several speakers, including farmers, were heckled on Thursday during the hearings into whether the Constitution should be amended to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.

Malema intervened and asked that maximum discipline be practiced as participants gave their views to the Constitutional Review Committee. 

His calls came after a white farmer participating in the hearings was taunted for saying that he was against amending section 25 of the Constitution.

READ: Land: The people speak - Public hearings told that 'there will be hell'

"You can't have a problem with people who apply their own minds on these issues," said Malema. 

He added that there will be people who support land expropriation without compensation and others who will be against it, but that everyone will be allowed to have their say. He asked that those in the hall "please listen to them".

Malema also told the crowd that if the process wasn't viewed as fair, then the legitimacy of the hearings could be challenged in court and its outcomes rendered "useless".

The EFF leader also made a similar call at Marble Hall on Wednesday as people with opposing views were heckled and booed. 

'I hope you can swim'

As with Wednesday's hearing, the prevalent view in Mokopane was that that the Constitution be changed in order for the land to be returned to its rightful owners.

There were, however, more people to give opposing views in Mokopane.

One farmer, who did not name himself as he addressed the committee, said that if government changed the Constitution it would lead to jobs losses and food shortages.

"After you've chased off all the farmers from their land, there will not be food. The Zimbabweans had a backdoor, they could cross the Limpopo river, they could find food in South Africa," he said. 

"South of Cape Town, I see only water, I don't know how you can swim, I hope you can swim well."

The man added that it was a lie to say it was farmers who stole the land. 

"The Transvaal Agricultural Union, a year ago, offered R100 000 to anybody that can prove that any farmers have stolen land. For a whole year there was nobody that claimed that R100 000."

Numerous participants disagreed with the legality of land ownership by farmers, saying that there should not be a need to compensate farmers because they obtained the land illicitly and benefitted from the land while its original owners suffered. 

Malema, Lekota cordial

A man clad in a maroon jersey, who also did not identify himself, told the committee that the white minority took the land for their own use. 

"We cannot compensate someone that has already benefitted [and is] still benefiting now. Compensation shouldn't even be entertained," he said. 

On Thursday, Malema and Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota greeted each other cordially before proceedings got under way but did not sit next to each other. 

This was after Wednesday's hearing at Marble Hall took a hostile turn when Malema and Lekota had a heated exchange.

Both Malema and Lekota said the argument was over a disagreement that the process had been staged.

Lekota confronted Malema about giving the chairperson direction on which members of public should speak. 

Malema dismissed this, saying it was not untoward and that Lekota was unhappy because his views were not expressed through the members of the public.

Lekota, who was seated next to Malema, eventually got up and moved to another seat.

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Read more on:    cope  |  eff  |  polokwane  |  land hearings  |  land  |  land expropriation

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