Malema flays Zulu king over land issue

Julius Malema addressing his supporters at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg yesterday. /Veli Nhlapo
Julius Malema addressing his supporters at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg yesterday. /Veli Nhlapo

EFF leader Julius Malema has taken a swipe at Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini - whom he last year presented with a herd of cattle as a birthday gift - and said people should not shiver when he speaks.

"When they speak we must shiver. No, we are in the democratic debate [about land] here. The Zulu kingdom must also contribute to the debate we are having here," he said.

Malema was speaking yesterday at the launch of his party's election registration campaign in Johannesburg.

"The Zulu kingdom must never allow white people to put it against the black majority. No one is going to take land from Zulu people.

"If Ingonyama Trust is not being used properly to benefit the Zulus, then let Ingonyama Trust be dissolved and let it be returned into the hands of the people. What is this political expediency we are experiencing here? Why should the Zulu kingdom not be treated as one of the institutions under democracy."

Last week, Zwelithini said the Ingonyama Trust should not be dissolved. The king called on all Zulus to donate R5 each for the fight against the proposed dissolution of the Ingonyama Trust.

A high-level panel appointed by the Speakers' Forum and led by former president Kgalema Motlanthe has recommended that the Ingonyama Trust Act be repealed or amended and that the Trust itself be dissolved.

The Trust administers 2.8million hectares of land on behalf of the Zulu nation.

The king's comments seem to have angered Malema, whose party's drive led to the National Assembly's adoption of a motion on land expropriation without compensation.

Malema told scores of EFF supporters that the restoration of land will heal the pain of black people. He said any ownership of property by black people was a threat to whiteness.

"Land in South Africa was taken through genocide. No one left the country when the land was [taken] from black people. Now we say, let us take from white people."

Meanwhile, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu yesterday called on the international community not to panic over the land issue.

"There is a parliamentary process under way and all stakeholders, domestic and
international, must respect that process and also take advantage of that process to make their input.

"The president remains committed to engage all stakeholders during this process," Sisulu said.

In a media briefing on Thursday, March 8 2018, EFF leader Julius Malema explained his position on a variety of issues including land, listeriosis, state capture and divorcing the DA.

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