Malema in George
Mere hours after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema made a brief appearance in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Friday 6 April on charges of inciting people to invade land, he told thousands of EFF supporters at the Thembalethu Stadium, that the land belongs to the people and not to pieces of paper.
The rally, his first in George as EFF leader, was held to boost the party's policy of land expropriation without compensation.
Joining Malema on stage were the EFF's National Chairperson Dali Mpofu, Deputy President Floyd Shivambu, General Secretary Godrich Gardee, and Deputy General Secretary Hlengiwe Octavia Mkhaliphi.
An estimated crowd of 2 500, mainly young EFF supporters from George and the Southern
Cape, were told that when the EFF says they must occupy the land, they are not advocating an illegal act, as the land (already) belongs to them. To a chorus of loud cheers, Malema said, "How do you say we are wrong by asking people to go and occupy what rightfully belongs to them? It is your property. I can't say to you that you must occupy your house, and (be) told I am doing a wrong thing."
He said that it is not the EFF's intention to drive whites into the sea. "These whites belong here with us, we are neighbours, but they must be prepared to share the land. The only problem we have with them is that they don't want to share the land. Now they say Malema doesn't want white people - I never said that."
Land equals dignity
He said that property gives people dignity and that no one respects a person who doesn't have property.
Malema said a huge plane was parked at the George Airport when he landed. "I was told it belongs to the Prime Minister of Kuwait, as
he has a big farm here. No black person has a farm in Kuwait. They come from all over to take our land."
6 April must be Land Day
Malema said the EFF wants
6 April to be declared national Land Day. Instead of remembering 6 April as the day when Jan van Riebeek took possession of the land, it should be remembered for the struggle to recapture it. “The youth must know the history of the country. Some 366 years ago people arrived here and took what belonged to us. Led by
Jan van Riebeeck, the intention was to conquer the people and colonise Southern Africa. They claimed the Khoi and the San did not have title deeds and therefore South Africa was no-man's land."
Malema paid tribute to the late struggle leader Winnie MadikizelaMandela, who passed away on Monday 2 April. Malema said she was the first powerful female, African revolutionary.
"All over the world you hear about great men (like) Karl Marx, Lenin, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Nelson Mandela and Chris Hani. For the first time the world will celebrate a female revolutionary and she comes from South Africa."
He said the condemnation of the 'mother of the nation' by some is due to the patriarchal nature of the country.
A triumphant Julius Malema greets his supporters as he leaves the stage.
EFF leader Julius Malema addresses the EFF land expropriation rally in Thembalethu.