AfriForum sets sight on Juju, land
COURT ACTION: BODY VOWS TO BRING MALEMA TO BOOK Roets will tour ‘anti-socialist’ countries highlighting plight of minority groups.
AfriForum’s international campaign against land expropriation without compensation (EWC) is set to intensify this year, as will its bid to bring politician Julius Malema to book in the courts.
The Economic Freedom Fighters leader will be the target of the lobby group’s efforts to pressure the National Prosecuting Authority into pushing ahead with a number of cases against him. At the same time, the minority rights group’s CEO, Ernst Roets, will be embarking on a tour of perceived “anti-socialist” countries, including the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
The message he intends to preach is that South Africa is about to commit gross violations against the right to property ownership and to highlight the plight and alleged ill-treatment of minority race groups in South Africa, particularly white people.
“The international campaign will be a big focus on mine particularly, not only to talk about EWC, but the bigger issue, including the way minority communities are treated in South Africa,” said Roets.
“The one thing we will latch onto with this particularly, or use as an example, is the comments made by [ANC secretary-general] Ace Magashule last year during the xenophobic violence, which he said he condemns ...but then he said the real foreigners are the white people, so why are you attacking the black people?
“To us, that is very alarming so we will raising international awareness about these types of comments.”
Also high on the group’s priorities is its private prosecution wing’s target to have Malema see his day in court.
“There are various cases regarding Malema,” said Roets. “The one is his assault of a security guard at the funeral of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. The other is the firing of a firearm at a political rally. Then, there is On Point Engineering corruption charges and so forth.”
The group could resort to forcing the NPA to make a decision on these cases through the courts, should it continue to drag its feet.
“Obviously, he is not the only person we are looking at in terms of private prosecution, but he is probably the most high-profile person and we believe he is the person with the most cases against him that hasn’t had significant progress in terms of getting justice.”
The group also plans on calling for a judicial review of the investigation into the murder of soccer star Senzo Meyiwa.
Another target is Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. The group launched a campaign last year, calling on him to be fired for millions of rands in irregular expenditure cited by the auditor-general last year.
AfriForum wants to increase its outreach this year to expand on its 130 community branches. The idea is to focus on developing these communities to preserve their cultural identity, with a main focus on the Afrikaner culture in a way that still respects the constitution and law.
The civil rights organisation plans to use its newly launched think-tank, Opinor, as a tool to protect communities through academic research.
“The think-tank will focus on the work that we do, although we do aim to also advise government on policy issues,” said Roets.
“For instance, we will be making comments on the Expropriation without Compensation Bill. But that will be a secondary focus in terms of the think-thank. Its primary goal is to focus on research of local communities in terms of best practice and building community safety networks.
“The focus is not only on Afrikaners and it is not just for white people, so its not about the racial element but it is a cultural element.
“AfriForum has worked with the Khoi and San communities.”
Group wants a judicial review of the Meyiwa murder