Businessman and former politician Kenny Kunene, speaking to The Citizen, said he was unsurprised to hear EFF leader Julius Malema’s racially explosive rhetoric today in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.
Speaking outside the city’s magistrates’ court, where Malema appeared under a law from the 1950s for his alleged incitement of his followers to occupy vacant land, the EFF commander-in-chief said white people had no claim to land. He also appeared to make a rather sinister joke that “we are not going to slaughter white people … for now”.
“We are not calling for the slaughter of white people‚ at least for now … The rightful owners of the land are black people. No white person is a rightful owner of the land here in SA and the whole of the African continent‚” Malema said.
Kunene, originally a co-founder of the EFF in 2013 with Floyd Shivambu and Malema, said that he had been warning South Africa against Malema and his “hatred of white people” for years, but he had not been taken seriously. Kunene said that he now felt vindicated again. He had earlier come out to criticise Malema for saying he wanted to take over the ANC in the future and rebrand it as something new in partnership with the EFF.
“This is part of why I left the EFF. Malema used to make it clear how much he hates white people. He used to say the plan was to use white people and their resources to build the EFF until it could take power.
“‘Then when we are in power, we take everything from them.’
Kunene added that Malema told him in private that “we should learn from the example of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, who was in partnership with America until he was strong enough to become an enemy of America. Malema said we could learn from the example of Osama Bin Laden, who was trained by America to fight the Russians – he was equipped militarily by the CIA, but they only made him strong enough to become America’s greatest enemy.
“I warned people about this man at the Franschhoek Literary Festival last year. I was in discussion with Judge Dennis Davis, Richard Poplak and Fiona Forde. I warned them not to be fooled into complacency about this man. He hates white people.
“When he said he doesn’t want to slaughter white people … yet, that wasn’t a joke. That was the real Malema. When he said the white man mustn’t clap for the EFF, he wasn’t joking, that’s the real Malema talking.
“He’s just waiting to come to power, and then no white person will be able to own land or a business unless 51% of that business is handed over to a black shareholder. That’s how it is in Zimbabwe, and that’s how it will be here.
“Let’s not fool ourselves. It makes me happy that he’s saying these things now so that we can know who he really is. I’ve said before that his hatred of white people is so strong you can cut it with a blade. When he speaks to a white audience, like the Cape Chamber, which is 90% white, then he says the EFF’s policy is for the state to own the land, which will be shared among blacks and whites. He only talks about taking municipal land when he talks to white people.
“But when he talks in the township, he only talks expropriation without compensation.”
Kunene would not elaborate on his other reasons for leaving the EFF, other than to say he was put off by Malema’s militaristic and warlike nature.
Malema had earlier told the crowd: “Revolution is about making those that are comfortable uncomfortable. That’s what a revolution is all about!
“This act they are using here … this act was passed in 1956 as a response to the Freedom Charter, which was adopted in 1955. The Freedom Charter said people must occupy the land wherever they choose to occupy the land.
“The Boers … the apartheid regime, passed a law which ensured that no one is going to disturb the peace of Europeans. Mandela was tried with the same piece of legislation.
“This battle of the land is in the hands of the EFF. We will fight for it. No amount of intimidation will silence us. Not even torture. Not even anything can tell us to keep quiet about the land.
The EFF says “these white fellows” clap hands while his party fights Zuma. But he says Zuma is not the EFF’s “strategic position” – the “defeat of white monopoly capital” is.
“Zuma is not our strategic objective. Our strategic objective is the defeat of white monopoly capital. And that defeat of white monopoly capital means the ownership of property must change and be transferred to the hands of the people.
“The mines must be nationalised. The banks must be nationalised. The land must be expropriated without compensation. That’s what we are talking about. Zuma is a ‘by the way’. So, white man, before you clap hands for EFF, you must think twice.
“We will not chase white people to the sea. We will give them [a] portion. We will share the land piece by piece. And you can’t own bigger than us … you are a visitor. Visitors must behave. They must know that the land belongs to people of South Africa … indigenous people of South Africa.