News 20.2.2018 05:12 am

Malema warns Maimane the ‘land issue’ could see DA losing metros

EFF leader vented about his counterparts’ attitude to expropriation without compensation.

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Julius Malema sounded a stern warning to Democratic Alliance head Mmusi Maimane during the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s maiden State of the Nation Address in parliament yesterday.

“I want to warn the leader of the opposition that your stay in the metros is going to depend on your attitude on the expropriation of land without compensation,” an angry Malema warned.

“That is a fundamental issue that is going to make us fight you. Anyone opposed to expropriation of land without compensation is the enemy of our people,” Malema said over loud cheers from the EFF.

Malema said the issue had not made headlines because Ramaphosa was bluffing.

“You [Ramaphosa] are not serious about it. Anybody who is worried about investment in South Africa when you mentioned expropriation of land without compensation, but you told them hey, I’m just passing time,” Malema accused Ramaphosa.

Earlier, Maimane had called for Ramaphosa to “resist the pressures in your party to undo the rights enshrined in our constitution, including property rights”.

“The dispossession of land through the 1913 Natives Land Act was apartheid’s original sin. Its consequences are still felt in our society today and, make no mistake, must be addressed,” Maimane said.

“We can correct this injustice in a way that respects the rule of law and in which the rights of current and future land owners are protected,” said Maimane and added land reform could be sped up within the law by rooting out corruption.

“And we must trust emerging black farmers with real land ownership, and not just as permanent tenants of the state,” said Maimane. “Expropriation of land without compensation is incompatible with a growing, flourishing economy. You can have one or the other, but never both.”

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said Ramaphosa’s “greatest test” would be over land.

“There is a wound among our people that has never been healed. We cannot deal with inequality until we resolve the issue of land, for land is the means to create security, development and wealth,” Buthelezi said.

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