Julius Malema is no stranger to controversy, and it seems that every public holiday we get in South Africa, the political firebrand starts another major row. This time, he’s made a fairly sweeping statement at a public rally – he wants white South Africans to apologise to black SA citizens for ‘previous racial injustices’.
The idea of ‘reparations’ is nothing new for Malema or the Red Berets, but his comments come at a rather sensitive moment for the country. The fate of land expropriation without compensation still hangs in the balance. Although the redistribution of land is still scheduled to go ahead, the EFF suspect that President Ramaphosa may not keep his promise.
On matters of land, colonisation, and previously oppressive regimes, Malema wants a full-on apology from South Africa’s white community – a suggestion that is now likely to fuel a huge debate in this country:
“I don’t see anything black in Ramaphosa. I see everything white about Ramaphosa. His job is to help white people. White people owe us an apology and an explanation on why they oppress our people. We don’t owe white people anything, including an explanation of why we want the land. We are not on a honeymoon with white people.” | Julius Malema
Rather dramatically, Malema also declared that South Africa has ‘reached the point of no freedom’, some 27 years into the democratic era. The 40-year-old is adamant that there is ‘nothing to celebrate’ on this particular public holiday.
“How can we speak like beggars who don’t know what they are here for in our own country? We didn’t occupy anyone’s land. Nor did we go to another country. We are in our own country – we are asking for what rightfully belongs to us. In this land we have nothing as black citizens, yet we are asked to celebrate our own landlessness on Freedom Day”.
MALEMA: When they say to you that you must celebrate Freedom Day, they mean you must celebrate not having LAND. #EFFFreedomDay— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) April 27, 2021
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