Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

Johann Rupert, Oppenheimers are the faces of SA’s land criminals, says Malema

The EFF has called on Rupert to disclose all properties he owns and how they were acquired historically.

EFF leader Julius Malema claims billionaire businessman Johann Rupert and the Oppenheimer family are the faces of South Africa’s land criminals.

Thousands of EFF members and supporters on Wednesday took part in a march outside properties owned by Rupert in Stellenbosch, Western Cape.

The march – dubbed by the Red Berets as “land day” – coincided with the arrival of Dutch colonial administrator and navigator Jan van Riebeeck in South Africa on 6 April 1652.

ALSO READ: EFF to picket at ‘land thief’ Johann Rupert’s farms

Malema led the EFF’s march in Stellenbosch while his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, was in Mpumalanga.

‘Face of the land criminals’

Addressing party supporters, Malema said the EFF was in Stellenbosch to confront Rupert because he was one of the beneficiaries of colonial settlement and land dispossession that began in 1652.

“Johann Rupert and his family, and the Oppenheimers and many of these rich white families in South Africa – they are the face of the land crime that was committed in this country,” the EFF leader said.

He claimed that Rupert derived his wealth and riches from stealing from black people.

“Your riches come from the exploitation of black people. Our people work in the white farms and you don’t pay them anything.

“Instead you pay them with bottles of wine and alcohol because you have no regard for black people and black dignity,” Malema said.

‘Black genocide’

According to Malema, more than 300 years ago since Van Riebeeck docked in the then Cape of Good Hope (now Cape Town), he and his men stole land from black people and raped and killed them.

He demanded that Rupert should return all stolen land to black South Africans.

“You are not rich because you are smarter than us. You are rich because your forefathers committed black genocide and stole our cattle, killed our leaders and took everything that belongs to us.

“The sea belongs to us, the minerals of this country belong to us and we demand that all of those things must be returned into the hands of the rightful owners.”

EFF demands

The EFF handed over a memorandum of demands to representatives of Rupert’s investment holding company, Remgro.

The list of six demands included calls for Rupert to distribute land he privately owns and his entities without compensation.

The party also demanded immediate disclosure of the amount of property owned by Rupert and how it was acquired historically.

“You’ve got enough land, Rupert. Start releasing some of it voluntarily now before the land revolution visits you,” Malema warned the businessman.  

He added: “All those white people who have a lot of land, properties and wealth; please start sharing it with the people of South Africa because they’re losing patience.”

The Red Berets also want an independent audit report of Rupert’s tax records and a public disclosure of all his offshore accounts and foreign economic interests.

Malema added that without land, there could be no reconciliation in South Africa.

“For as long as they have our land in our possession, we will never be friends. We are not Nelson Mandela of reconciliation,” he said.

NOW READ: Land expropriation: EFF might cause ‘trouble’, expert warns

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