The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Thursday claimed there was a deliberate counter movement forming in the country against parliament’s resolution to amend the constitution so as to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
“This movement brings together right-wing formations like Freedom Front Plus, AfriForum, and liberal, market-friendly formations like the DA and Cope,” EFF leader Julius Malema said at a media briefing in Johannesburg.
“We are also aware that there are European members of parliament who are trying to mobilise Europe into an imperialist neocolonial programme of undermining the sovereignty and democratic rights of South Africans,” he added.
Malema also accused the media of being party to the conspiracy after the EFF’s motion – supported by the ANC and smaller parties – to expropriate land without compensation in the National Assembly was successfully passed last month by 241 votes to 83.
The matter has been referred to the Constitutional Review Committee in parliament, which has been tasked with initiating a public participation process. The committee is expected to report back to the House on August 30.
The EFF wants government to be the primary custodian of all of the country’s land and to start a process of equal distribution with a principle of “use it or lose it”.
Malema urged citizens to make their views known on land reform to the Constitutional Review Committee.
“[We] encourage all to stop the threats of war or civil conflict. Parliament has opened up space for engagement and we believe that all South Africans should democratically participate and be willing to accept the democratic outcome of the engagement.”
The firebrand leader said the EFF was also open to engagements with Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini and other stakeholders on the Ingonyama Trust. The king has called on all Zulus to donate R5 each towards a legal bid to challenge recommendations made by a high-level parliamentary panel to dissolve the trust established in 1994.
King Zwelithini is legally the sole trustee of the Ingonyama Trust, which administers 2.8 million hectares of land on his behalf.
“Whilst the parliamentary process is ongoing, the EFF is willing to meet and engage with sensible and interested parties on the land question. We are particularly willing to meet and engage with king Goodwill Zwelithini, Ingonyama Trust, and all traditional leadership establishments and bodies that have an interest on the constitutional and policy issues that relate to land ownership, control and redistribution,” Malema said.