Sowetan Live, October 24, 2011
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema told a community in Vereeniging, south of Johannesburg, to hold on to their land and not to fear whites.
Malema said white people had brought nothing with them when they came to South Africa more than three centuries ago.
His remarks at the weekend in Diepsloot–which the ANCYL is using as rallying platforms for its so-called economic freedom march to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Thursday–have stirred responses from some quarters, including the Freedom Front.
Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said the youth leaders were being “reckless and irresponsible” with their provocative utterances on land and nationalisation of mines.
Malema told residents of Bantu Bonke township, outside Vereeniging, that the land they occupied was rich with minerals and they should refuse to give it up at all cost.
“We heard Anglo wants you to move. They said there was alternative land because they had discovered a mineral,” Malema said yesterday.
“We must restore our dignity. We must have everything that white people have. Everything they have in town we want the same where we stay, better services.
“The ANC promised free water and electricity and that must still happen,” he said.
He asked the residents to join the planned march to the JSE and the Union Buildings later this week.
“We must march to Pretoria and ask the leadership to return land to the people. When boers came here they never had land. They found us here and they did not bring any land or minerals. There is nobody who will liberate you unless you stand up.”
He said the government should provide people with land to farm and be their own “baas”.
“Fear of white people must come to an end,” Malema said.
He started his day with a visit to the Methodist Church in Ratanda.
“Our position on politics is that we are neutral, we do not take sides,” Pastor Andile Senandile said.
Senandile asked Malema not to talk about politics in church, which Malema agreed to.
Malema is facing charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing division within the party.
The march to Joburg and Pretoria is regarded as an attempt by Malema and the league to show the support they enjoy to make it impossible for the ANC to consider expelling or suspending him.