Please note that the story below was sent to the Press Ombudsman, who ruled that Professor Chris Malikane’s quote about going to war if the constitution is not changed had in fact been misrepresented in the original City Press article.
The ombud ruled that the square brackets added information to the quote were in fact adding words from a question Malikane was asked, and were not in fact Malikane’s words.
The story below retains the original presentation, but click here for an article on the ombudsman’s concerns on it.
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s controversial adviser, Professor Chris Malikane, has positioned himself as the voice of “progressive forces” in the country.
He has warned South Africans to be prepared for the worst if radical economic transformation is to succeed, even if it means taking up arms.
Addressing the Blacks in Dialogue event on Saturday evening at the Devonshire Hotel in Johannesburg, Malikane repeated his call for a new economic policy and for an amendment of the constitution to nationalise key sectors of the economy, City Press reports.
“It’s true that this country will plunge [into crisis] and become like Venezuela and Zimbabwe. India went through the same pain.
“If we are real about transformation, we need to be real and strengthen our people ideologically and politically. We need to organise and educate our people. Did you think to transform is going to be nice?” Malikane was quoted as saying at the event organised by the Black First Land First movement.
He added: “We need a two-thirds majority to change the Constitution. Otherwise, to achieve what we want to achieve, we need to go that route [take up arms]. Let’s try two-thirds. I don’t like war.”
Malikane, according to the report, said a decision to take up arms to achieve the ruling African National Congress’ radical economic transformation policy would have to be discussed and not be made by a single individual.
“It’s not for me to decide. It’s the progressive forces that must decide. My role is to unite these progressive forces. Taking up arms is one thing, but building a country is another,” he said.
Malikane made headlines earlier this month following the publication of his opinion piece in the Sunday Times advocating for the nationalisation of the country’s banks and mines.
The economics professor from the University of the Witwatersrand called for the “expropriation of white monopoly capitalist establishments such as banks, insurance companies, mines and other monopoly industries to industrialise the economy”.
Speaking at the Blacks in Dialogue event, Malikane also took a swipe at his critics, saying the transformation of the economy would be based on a democratic state monopoly, and would not promote wealth for a few as suggested by some.
He said the black working class would have to be involved for it to succeed, as well as trade unions.