A chaotic gathering of members of the public in Limpopo’s Marble Hall on Wednesday included a heated confrontation between the EFF’s Julius Malema and Cope’s Mosiuoa Lekota, and they needed to be separated.
The confrontation was reportedly sparked by something Lekota allegedly said that angered Malema, who started waving his finger in Lekota’s face. Lekota stood up and walked away.
The two are on opposite sides of the land debate, with Malema and his party central figures in pushing for expropriation without compensation and Lekota urging against it. The Cope leader has been quoted recently as saying that the policy will be disastrous, and that white people did not steal land from black South Africans.
The hearing on land offered the public a chance to give their views started shakily when members of the public broke a metal detector at the venue. The venue also struggled to contain all the people who had come to have their say.
ANC members of parliament received boos from the crowd, while Malema was given a warm reception, with Lekota receiving both boos and cheers.
Malema and Lekota seem to be at loggerheads over more than just land. A recent tweet accusing Lekota of “loving whiteness more than himself” was retweeted by Malema.
Malema has also been mercilessly mocking the Cope leader for recent tweets, such as Lekota’s boasting about giving away three soccer balls to a poor soccer team. Malema also expressed his bemusement at how few people had attended Cope’s recent “national congress”, which saw the commander-in-chief tweet “He banna, what?”
The ANC and Lekota were not the only ones booed at the land hearing. A white man who said land expropriation “will not lead to paradise” was also met with derision.