Julius Malema

Julius Malema / File Photo

EFF’s not backing down over illegal land occupation

The EFF has said it will not withdraw its calls for the illegal occupation of land, even as its leader faces criminal charges for making the call.

Julius Malema

Julius Malema / File Photo

“The ANC is trying to silence the freedom charter, the ANC is saying that it’s no longer important to speak of the freedom charter… They have gone fishing an old apartheid-era law used to put [Nelson] Mandela behind bars, to put [Walter] Sisulu behind bars,” said EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

EFF leader Julius Malema will appear before a regional court in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday, where he is expected to be charged with contravening the apartheid-era Riotous Assemblies Act.

This is for comments he made at a freedom charter rally on June 26 when he encouraged EFF members to occupy any vacant land they came across. He initially made this call at the EFF’s National People’s Assembly in Mangaung in December 2014.

Malema is also due to appear at a regional court in the Free State for similar comments he made on November 14.


“The timing is part of a broader collapse that is happening within the government. The gangsters and gang lord are trying to destabilise anyone who challenges the status quo,” said Ndlozi.

He was speaking at the party’s offices in Newcastle, where the red berets had spent the weekend mobilising support for Malema under the hashtag #HandsoffCIC.

The fighters who had planned to host a night vigil at a church in Madadeni were denied a venue at the last minute. They gathered at the EFF offices in the city centre instead.

Ndlozi said until the land issue had been resolved, their struggle will continue.

“Let us defend the idea that until the land is restored to black people, in particular, Africans, the struggle is not over.”

He said supporters should not rest, come jail or death, until that has been achieved.

The third largest party in the country said it found its legitimacy through its policies on land, education and mines in the country.

“An organisation that if it exists in a situation where the laws are unjust will defy those laws.”

No one can say they created land

The EFF spokesperson said land could not be copyrighted like any material item and was a basic right because it was fundamental to human survival. He said land, like education, should be de-commodified for the common good.

“We ain’t gonna buy no land back, we don’t believe in buying the land back because it was stolen,” said Ndlozi.

The EFF would continue with its campaign for the illegal occupation of land, he said.

“We are not going to stop because of some apartheid assemblies’ act, we will riot against the riotous act.”

Leaders from the party and supporters were due to arrive in KwaZulu-Natal ahead of court proceedings on Monday.