WATCH | Return the land or face a ‘revolution’: Malema
Imran Garda heads to South Africa to investigate plans for a radical new land reform that's threatening to divide the country along socioeconomic and racial lines. Imran meets with key players in the country's heated land debate - from ruling-party (ANC) officials, to white farmers who fear they're being targeted and the most vocal proponent of radical land reform, Julius Malema, the leader of a growing opposition movement called the Economic Freedom Fighters.
EFF leader Julius Malema has warned that land must be returned to black people or things will get ugly.
Malema was speaking during an interview as part of a documentary by the Turkish Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation.
Malema argued that‚ 24 years into the democracy‚ “black people are worse off than they were under apartheid”.
He also declared war if land was not returned back to black people‚ saying: “If things are going the way they are‚ there will be a revolution in this country.”
During the same documentary on the Turkish news station‚ Bernadette Hall‚ a Fochville farmer‚ said she believed there’s currently genocide of white people in South Africa. However‚ various research organisations have repeatedly debunked the claims of white genocide‚ and AgriSA recently said that farm murders – which are regularly linked to genocide claims – were at their lowest level in 19 years.
Hall added that if her land was taken away she would “fight tooth and nail” it had been legally bought.
She added: This is my country as much as it is everybody else’s.”
In an attempt to give clarity about expropriation of land without compensation‚ Malema said‚ “The state owns the land and then it gives it you on a long lease‚ in that way everyone else will have access to the land.”
Malema during the documentary‚ which was released at the weekend‚ also slammed claims that there was genocide of white people‚ labelling them as cry babies‚ attention seekers and alarmists. He made reference to various cases in which black farmers were killed‚ saying that it would be an injustice to label them as genocide against black people.
"We are concerned‚ even in the farms where black workers are killed. Should we be alarmist and say there is a genocide of black workers?” he asked.
He also emphasised that farm attacks were acts of crime.
Responding to a question on illegal land invasion and occupation Malema said‚ “It’s not wrong‚ we are products of the land occupation. There’s no grabbing of the land its occupation‚ it’s our land.”
He added: “We cannot have our people living in congested areas‚ it creates health risks‚ it’s not conducive for children‚ it’s not good for human beings‚ there is enough land for everyone in South Africa.”
Malema told the Turkish journalist that he was not yet calling for the slaughtering of white people.
"I am saying to you‚ not under my leadership will we call for the slaughter of white people. I don't know who is coming after me. I will not speak for them‚ but they (white critics) are alarmist‚ they are cry babies‚ they are attention seekers. No one is going to slaughter them‚" Malema said.
The South African parliament has‚ since June‚ embarked on countrywide public hearings for the proposed amendment to Section 25 of the constitution‚ which deals with expropriation of land without compensation and property rights.