Malema steals the show at Limpopo land hearings
LIMPOPO — Star-struck Limpopo residents turned a parliamentary public hearing session into a platform to heap praise on Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema.
The parliamentary portfolio committee on rural development and land reform took its crusade to hear public views on proposed amendments to Section 25 of the Constitution to the Waterberg district.
If the amendments are accepted by Parliament, this would allow government to expropriate land without compensation.
The hearings which started countrywide this week got underway in Marble Hall on Wednesday and have so far exposed the deep rooted anger among land- less black South Africans.
They have also brought to the fore the fear and uncertainty among whites, who although are in the minority, own most of the land.
Scores of people, some of them dressed in EFF regalia began arriving in the early morning in preparation to make their submissions.
However many appeared star-struck, always beginning their oral submissions by heaping praise on the EFF leader.
Many were oblivious to the fact that Malema was there in his capacity as MP and committee member as seen in how they expressed their appreciation to him for ‘bringing government’ to hear their views.
Others credited Malema and the EFF for having forced the debate on the constitutional changes to become a reality.
This was often followed by chants of Juju! Juju! In praise of Malema who smiled occasionally to acknowledge the chants.
Some reserved their ire and humour for Congress of the People leader Mosioua Lekota, accusing him of opposing the proposed changes in order to protect his wine farm in the Cape.
Lekota, who on Wednesday had a fallout with Malema, took it all in his stride, laughing off the remarks from the floor.
While the hearings are mainly focussed on amending Section 25, participants who came mostly from Limpopo’s rural villages used the platform to raise a wide range of issues from harassment by mining houses, denial of access to ancestral graves on white owned farms to detention of livestock. — M&G