Malema steals the show at Lim­popo land hear­ings

Sunday Express - - NEWS -

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

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