Julius Malema has urged whites to be guided by their conscience and allow for a smooth process of land expropriation or force will be applied if necessary.
According to him,In the villages and the small and big towns of our country, ordinary people in their numbers have been queuing in long lines, coming to tell parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee about land expropriation.
They stand all day in meetings where there are no food parcels on offer or free T-shirts, no celebrities or entertainment.
Our people, from the old women and men who live on pensions to the young men and women who are unemployed and undereducated, all line up to share with MPs their experiences.
The halls are often too small for the numbers that show up and in these winter days, with their chilly winds, they sometimes wait their turn outside the venues, braving the cold for hours to participate in the conversation about land.
The overwhelming majority of these people, in both urban and rural South Africa, are unequivocal that land must be expropriated without compensation, for equal redistribution. Many of those who support this view are African farmworkers, the landless and small-scale farmers.
Some express great distrust in the government, while some express great distrust in traditional leadership – for they have witnessed both, in recent memory, depriving black people of land and choosing to sell it to rich whites who at times are not even South African.
They lament forced removals at the hand of the government of the day and at the hands of traditional leaders. Once money is involved, they say, the rich benefit more. They get more land.
This conversation about land, which has seen parliament – for the first time since 1994 – descend into people’s community halls to listen to them, one by one, all day, found its origins in another winter, five years ago, in a community hall in Soweto: Uncle Tom Hall, on July 26, the year of 2013.
That the joint houses of parliament are hard at work consulting our people on whether the land must be expropriated without compensation or not, is a conversation made possible by the decision taken by more than 1,100 delegates from all nine provinces in a gathering called the National People’s Assembly on “What Is To Be Done?”
There, in the winter of 2013, these activists resolved to form the EFF as a political party, to contest elections and fight for seven non-negotiable cardinal pillars, the first of which is land expropriation without compensation for equal redistribution.
Only denialists would refuse this as an important step in the complete decolonisation of black lives. One only has to sit in these meetings to hear our people, side by side, race by race, articulate their struggles and ultimately support or reject expropriation.
EFF members have asked their white fellow residents a simple question: ‘When your white ancestors dispossessed black people of their lands, did they offer consolation? Was there a dialogue and democratic chance to hear everyone’s views?’