The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will not be moved from its policy of land grabs, leader Julius Malema said on Thursday.
“Anyone who resists the surrender of land will meet (with) the determination of the people,” he said in Johannesburg, at a briefing about the outcomes of the EFF’s recent national assembly.
Reiterating the movement’s intent to transfer all land to the state without compensation, he rejected criticism that this would undermine the economy.
At the current pace, land redistribution would take 300 years to complete, he said
Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson recently warned the EFF that action would be taken against anyone who occupied farms or agricultural land illegally.
“There is no way we will allow people to sow discord in our farming communities for party-political gains,” she was quoted as saying.
Malema said Zimbabwe’s land grabs were started by that country’s people, not by President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe merely chose the people’s side.
Malema also called the planned initial enrolment of 290 students at two new universities “absolutely ridiculous”. He blamed the government for what he described as a lack of vision, likening its attitude to that of the apartheid regime when it restricted blacks to attending Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape.
“It is no secret that the worsening situation of unemployment is directly linked to the question of higher education, which has been limited and denied to the black child for centuries.”
Malema said the target of having 20 000 students in 10 years at the two new tertiary institutions reflected a lack of commitment to transform the country’s past.
“The way the government has started with these universities is the same way the apartheid government started the University of Fort Hare, confirming attitudes when it comes to education of the black child,” Malema said.
President Jacob Zuma announced last week that two new universities – in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape – would begin operating next year. They would initially take fewer than 200 students each, Zuma said.