Groenewald tells Ramaphosa not to ‘enslave the young white people’ of SA

The FF+ leader says those who agree with his opposition to BEE include 'black academics like William Gumede' and a petrol pump attendant.

Freedom Front Plus (FF+) leader Pieter Groenewald voiced his opposition to black economic empowerment in his response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s third state of the nation address (Sona) in parliament on Tuesday.

“You said in Stellenbosch that you wanted to tie white people to a tree to prevent them from leaving South Africa,” he said.

“But have you asked why … the white people … of South Africa leave?

“It is because they don’t get jobs and they don’t get jobs because of affirmative action,” Groenewald continued.

While campaigning the Western Cape ahead of elections, Ramaphosa jokingly told an audience at the Beyerskloof wine estate in Stellenbosch that he would “tie” young white South Africans to a “tree” if he could to stop them leaving South Africa.

READ MORE: FF+’s Pieter Groenewald loses his cool over Steve Hofmeyr question

Groenewald feels that affirmative action is the reason behind these young white people leaving in the first place.

“You say that you want to utilise their skills and their expertise, the fact of the matter is you cannot do it, because of affirmative action they have to go and seek jobs at other places in the worlds, and yes the world reaps [the] expertise.

“Still you discriminate against the young white people of South Africa, your own youth employment scheme, young white people cannot participate in it because they are white.

Turning his attention to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, Groenewald said his “blaming the white people of white monopoly capital” was “a kick in the teeth of those people who really want to build South Africa”.

“If you want to enslave the young white people of South Africa, you’re completely wrong.”

Groenewald called on the president to “do away with black economic empowerment”.

The FF+ leader claimed his views on the matter were “supported by black academics like William Gumede” before telling the story of a presumably black petrol attendant he had encountered.

“During election time when I put in some petrol in my car, the attendant said I am going to vote for you, and I asked him why.

“He said, because you are quite correct, when it comes to black economic empowerment it is only favouring the political elite,” Groenewald said.

Elsewhere in his speech, Groenewald addressed Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi, who he accuses of “always blaming Afrikaans schools for his own failures and using them as a smokescreen instead of attending to the schools who are real problems”.

READ MORE: I don’t hate ‘die taal’, but we need changes – Lesufi

This was reacted to disapprovingly by the ANC caucus, to which Groenewald responded: “[Does] the ANC have a problem with my mother tongue language of Afrikaans, because that is what Lesufi says,” adding that the “president didn’t repudiate” Lesufi’s alleged problem with the language.

Lesufi recently clarified in a speech that he did not “hate Afrikaans”, and was only against schools that had Afrikaans as a medium of instruction where every pupil was forced to learn in that language.

“I don’t hate Afrikaans and have respect for all 11 official languages, as well as mother-tongue education. These would be incorporated into the education system,” he said in his Education Roadmap speech at Nasrec Expo Centre earlier in June.

He added that he planned to introduce a system where schooling would be available in more than one language.

“There can be Afrikaans, Sepedi, and English in a school so that children can play together during break time,” Lesufi said.

(Background reporting, Keamogetswe Legae)

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BEE Cyril Ramaphosa Pieter Groenewald

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