South Africa 8.9.2018 06:10 am

AfriForum agrees to meet red berets ‘for fair dialogue’

AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets, left, and CEO Kallie Kriel while in the US to garner support.  Image:  Twitter/Ernst Roets

AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets, left, and CEO Kallie Kriel while in the US to garner support. Image: Twitter/Ernst Roets

Roets said his organisation would not be so naive to think the EFF would drop its strong viewpoints to take on theirs.

AfriForum has said it is willing to sit down and engage the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), particularly on issues of factual accuracy, after party leader Julius Malema called for a “face to face” engagement following the former’s submission to parliament on the land expropriation debate.

Deputy CEO of AfriForum Ernst Roets on Thursday responded to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s promise that “in recognising the original sin of land dispossession … government would continue the land reform programme that entails expropriation of land without compensation”.

Roets claimed the narrative that whites stole the land was “the single biggest historical fallacy of our time” and the ANC was leading the country into a “communist utopia”.

Settlement, treaties and cooperation – and “most controversial, but least significant” by conquest – were reasons for white ownership of land, Roets asserted.

As a reaction to the submissions by AfriForum, Malema – a long-time target of the Afrikaner rights lobby group – said it might be time for the EFF and AfriForum to have it out face to face.

He divided Twitter when he took to the social media platform to challenge the organisation.

“AfriForum is very provocative, maybe it is time for us to engage face to face,” said Malema.

Roets said he wasn’t sure whether the tweet from the party leader was a threat but that if a “face to face” engagement meant that both parties would sit down to discuss their viewpoints on the matter of land expropriation, the organisation was open to fair dialogue.

He said his organisation would not be naive to think the EFF would drop its strong viewpoints to take on theirs, but that it would be important to be clear on each other’s viewpoints and arguments.

He acknowledged the controversy was embedded in South African history, and the many injustices that needed to be corrected, but said it was important to do so on a factual basis.

jenniffero@citizen.co.za

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