Malema steals the show at Limpopo land hearings
Star-struck Limpopo residents turned a parliamentary public hearing session into a platform to heap praise on Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema.
The parliamentary portfolio committee on rural development and land reform took its crusade to hear public views on proposed amendments to Section 25 of the Constitution to the Waterberg district.
If the amendments are accepted by Parliament, this would allow government to expropriate land without compensation.
The hearings which started countrywide this week got underway in Marble Hall on Wednesday and have so far exposed the deep rooted anger among landless black South Africans.
“We want our land back”. An elderly community member from Mokopane wants the land to be returned to its rightful owners. Hearings into the amendment of the section on property rights in the Constitution continue in Limpopo today. pic.twitter.com/G6x543fBfP— Mail & Guardian (@mailandguardian) June 28, 2018
They have also brought to the fore the fear and uncertainty among whites, who although are in the minority, own most of the land.
Scores of people, some of them dressed in EFF regalia began arriving in the early morning in preparation to make their submissions.
However many appeared star-struck, always beginning their oral submissions by heaping praise on the EFF leader.
Many were oblivious to the fact that Malema was there in his capacity as MP and committee member as seen in how they expressed their appreciation to him for ‘bringing government’ to hear their views.
Others credited Malema and the EFF for having forced the debate on the constitutional changes to become a reality.
This was often followed by chants of Juju! Juju! in praise of Malema who smiled occasionally to acknowledge the chants.
Some reserved their ire and humour for Congress of the People leader Mosioua Lekota, accusing him of opposing the proposed changes in order to protect his wine farm in the Cape.
After a tense exchange at the Limpopo constitutional amendment hearings on Wednesday, EFF CIC Julius Malema and COPE leader Mosiua Lekota appear to be on better terms now. pic.twitter.com/tSpQgWLjlg— Mail & Guardian (@mailandguardian) June 28, 2018
Initially Julius Malema and Mosioua Lekota sat next to each other during land hearings held on Wednesday in Limpopo. It soon became apparent the two were engaged in a heated debate, which led to Lekota moving away from Malema find another seat. pic.twitter.com/2wIrWyMqvL— Mail & Guardian (@mailandguardian) June 27, 2018
While the hearings are mainly focussed on amending Section 25, participants who came mostly from Limpopo’s rural villages used the platform to raise a wide range of issues from harassment by mining houses, denial of access to ancestral graves on white owned farms to detention of livestock.
The hearings are set for Nkowankowa near Tzaneen tomorrow. — Mukurukuru Media