It would be fair to say that Julius Malema, the self-styled commander-in-chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters, is unmoved about going where wise men fear to tread.
His newest contention, delivered outside the Newcastle Magistrates’ Court yesterday, where he faced charges under the apartheid-era Riotous Assemblies Act, is that whites could not claim rights to any land in South Africa as it all belongs to blacks.
It was a classic Malema outburst, touching on one of the most sensitive areas of the disenfranchised and underscoring one of the pillars of EFF dogma.
Indeed, inciting the party’s followers to occupy land was the basis of the charges that were laid against him. It is a point where the Freedom Charter and our finely drawn and much-admired constitution might seem to be at cross-purposes.
But if we are to have long-term traction as a democratic nation, the charter that did so much to ignite the cause of true non-racialism must, together with the EFF, bow to the constitution.
Malema, whatever is thrown at him, will not go away. As academic Professor Jonathan Jansen so succinctly noted: “The biggest mistake is to underestimate the intelligence, the political smarts of Julius Malema.”