A firebrand South African politician has vowed to unseat a white mayor after praising plans to hand land to black people.

Julius Malema, who leads the country’s Economic Freedom Fighters opposition party, said he wanted to ‘remove’ Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip specifically because he ‘is a white man’.

He told a packed arena in Johannesburg that ‘we are starting with this whiteness. We are cutting the throat of whiteness.’

During the speech Malema said he wanted to unseat the mayor — a member of the Democratic Alliance — and accused the political group of being a racist party that promotes the interests of whites.

‘All white people who are voting DA, who are angry with what we are going to do in (Port Elizabeth)… all of you can go to hell, we don’t care about you. We don’t care about white feelings,’ he said to loud applause and cheering. ‘We don’t hate white people, we just love black people.’

Malema launched his campaign to be elected president in 2019 by aggressively distancing his party from its one-time coalition partner.

The EFF has propped up the administration of Port Elizabeth’s mayor since 2016 elections.

Athol Trollip is a member of the DA which has governed Port Elizabeth as well as Johannesburg and Pretoria with the support of Malema’s EFF.

But since the resignation last month of president Jacob Zuma, long the target of Malema’s ire, the EFF has switched its attentions to the main opposition DA.

Malema has sought to rebuild ties with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) since President Cyril Ramaphosa succeeded Zuma last month.

‘Ramaphosa must do the right thing. We don’t care about him being a billionaire, we want him to do the right thing,’ said Malema.

Malema founded the EFF in 2013 when he was expelled from the ANC along with a number of allies, and the party now has the third largest number of MPs in the National Assembly.

In his speech, Malema welcomed the ANC’s recent resolution to seek to expedite the process of redistributing land to ‘rightful owners’ that is widely understood to mean transferring land owned by whites to economically disadvantaged blacks.

‘We want to give land to our people, it is going to happen, it will happen in our lifetime, whether they like it or not. The land will be returned,’ he said.

‘We are not going to listen to any Britain, we are not going to listen to European Parliament, we are not going to listen to UN — we are going to listen to the people of South Africa,’ Malema added.

He was referring to a letter sent Tuesday by right-wing British UKIP MEP Janice Atkinson to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson calling on London to ‘step in’ over the issue of land redistribution in South Africa.

Malema also announced a voter registration drive for EFF supporters.

‘All fighters in all branches must be registered to vote. If you are not registered, then you are a criminal.’

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.