Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on Friday called on supporters to occupy land legally but by force if necessary.
He was addressing a rally at the Thembalethu Stadium in George in the southern Cape.
“You love the EFF when you are in trouble. When the farmers beat you‚ you want the address of the EFF‚” he told supporters.
Rallying them to vote for the red berets‚ he added: “When there are no hospitals you want the EFF‚ when your councillors are stealing from you‚ you want the EFF. But when it comes to voting you say ‘we can’t betray Madiba’.”
Then he turned to the issue of land.
“No one respects a person who is propertyless. It doesn’t matter if the person is white or black. When you’ve got property your confidence comes back. You are not people in the eyes of people who own property‚ they see you as sub human. They can kill you anytime and say you look like a baboon‚ why? Because you are propertyless. All those who are fed to lions and mistaken for baboons are those who are propertyless‚” he said.
Malema remained resolute in his position on land and called for land occupation to be done legally.
“When we say to the people of South Africa occupy land‚ we don’t say do illegal things. It is your right to have land. I can’t go say occupy your house‚ it belongs to you. You must continue to occupy the land it is yours.
“Majority of black people where they stay it was an illegal occupation. You see Soweto‚ they occupied it by force. Today it is the biggest township in Africa. You must continue to occupy by force. We are saying to the people in power we are serious about land.”
Malema was in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court earlier on Friday for an earlier incident in which he allegedly incited supporters to invade land. NPA spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said the matter was postponed until July 27. This was to accommodate his legal challenge of the Riotous Assemblies Act which he was charged under.
A crowd of supporters were at court to support Malema. Outside‚ according to the official EFF twitter account‚ he told them: “I am happy to appear before a court of law not because I am accused of stealing money from the poor . . . we are here not because we raped‚ killed or stole anything. But because we recited the Freedom Charter that people will have the right to occupy land wherever they choose.”
Speaking about public hospitals in the country‚ he said on Friday that conditions at state hospitals had deteriorated.
“The conditions in public hospitals are bad‚ 23 years into democracy the facilities for black people aren’t proper. There is not a single hospital you can be proud of‚” he said.