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Malema playing with matches near a powder keg - Ad Hoc Group

Jaco Schoeman warns that land invasions and land grabs have disastrous implications for agriculture and sustainable utilisation of land

Malema playing with matches near a powder keg.

The AD Hoc Group for the Protection of Property Rights, consisting of a number of organisations in civil society* is alarmed by the pronouncements on land, land grabs and the history of land by Mr Julius Malema.

We realise that on the one hand he is mobilising supporters and positioning himself in a very fluid and uncertain political environment. However, the possible short-term political gain he might get through irresponsible pronouncements on land, may in the long term have enormous implications for property rights. Land invasions and land grabs have disastrous implications for agriculture and the sustainable utilisation of land. There are many examples in southern Africa.

Mr Malema's pronouncements and thoughts about land was allowed to be developed in the ANC. The ANC leadership was warned on various occasions that the consequences could be catastrophic. The mobilisation with race as basis and threats against whites, suited the ANC at the time and Mr Malema was allowed to continue undisturbed. Mr Malema also repeated the statement that whites stole land in the presence of Mr Zuma in Kimberley in May 2011. Nothing was done to repudiate Mr. Malema. Many complaints were lodged with the South African Human Rights Commission. Till today the Human Rights Commission did not respond to what we consider to be hate speech.

Mr Malema promotes an ideology that thrives on racial hatred and racial tension. Land and land ownership are used as tools to divide and to mobilise people. These statements can not be allowed to continue. Our constitutional democracy is already extremely fragile and to divide people along racial lines is extremely irresponsible. Mr Malema is playing with matches near a powder keg. As individual organisations involved in the Ad Hoc Group for the Protection of Property Rights, we will also take this matter further.

* The Ad Hoc Group for the Protection of Property Rights is an informal grouping of organizations and political parties from across the political and social spectrum. This statement is supported by the FW de Klerk Foundation, The Freedom Front, TAU SA, NEASA and the Afrikanerbond.

Statement issued by Jaco Schoeman, convener of the ad hoc Group for the Protection of Property Rights, 8 November 2016