EFF deputy president and MP Floyd Shivambu has warned President Cyril Ramaphosa that the Red Berets will remove him from office if he moves away from the ANC’s commitment to address the country’s land question.
Speaking during a debate on Wednesday evening on Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) delivered last week, Shivambu said land redistribution was central to economic development and the EFF would not retreat on the issue.
“The choir that came here, mostly from the dysfunctional youth movement [and] the products of the youth movement such as Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, [Buti] Manamela, [Ronald] Lamola, and [Fikile] Mbalula – came here to reassure the president that he must not be afraid that we will remove him when he neglects and moves away from the land question and continues to empower white people,” Shivambu said.
“We want to tell you Mr president, and you know very well our capacity, that if we decide that you must be removed from office, we can remove you in all positions of power that you occupy now because we are not going to retract on the land question.”
Expropriation of land without compensation has been championed by the EFF under its seven non-negotiable pillars. The ANC also adopted the policy at its 54th national conference held in 2017, with Parliament now set to finalise a new land expropriation bill by March.
Shivambu criticised Ramaphosa’s plans, laid out in his Sona, for government to support locally manufactured products.
He said South Africa required a successful industrialisation programme that included a proper land redistribution plan and a state-owned bank.
“Our main submission is that South Africa must not continue to import unnecessary products and goods that can be locally beneficiated and produced,” he said.
“Let us focus on industrialisation because that is the only instrument that is going to bring about real economic development and defeat poverty, reduce inequality, and make sure that our people have got sustainable jobs. And at the centre of that is the reunification of our people with the land.”
After two days that saw parties debate Ramaphosa’s Sona, the president is expected to respond to the debate on Thursday afternoon in the National Assembly.