Julius Malema at the Cape Town International Convention Centre after speaking at the SA Property Owners Association Annual Convention and Property Exhibition. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA Pictures
CApe Town - The EFF’s commander-in-chief, Julius Malema, took the stage and told an auditorium full of mostly white property owners that they were beneficiaries of a crime against humanity.

Malema and the EFF have agitated for a land reform programme that would make the state the custodian of all land in South Africa, arguing that black South Africans had been forcefully dispossessed, and that land should be returned to its “rightful owners”.

Speaking to delegates at the SA Property Owners Association (Sapoa) convention at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Malema said: “This country was founded on a disruption, a crime against humanity, of which property owners sitting at this convention were the beneficiaries.”

He said colonialism and apartheid were a disruption of the property relations of the native population, in favour of a racist, anti-black colonial property order.

“That is still the reality of the black majority today. Every 20 years between 1946 and 2010 there was a property boom in South Africa,” said Malema.

He said these booms were often preceded by increased state capital expenditure.

“This means, sitting here today are beneficiaries of a crime against humanity.

"And you are also the greatest beneficiaries of a post-apartheid order.

“You benefited from the oppression of the property-less, today you also benefit from a democracy that was brought by the property-less, yet they still remain in that position as you have gotten richer,” said Malema.

He said the commercial property sector was worth R5.8trillion with land zoned for commercial and residential developments worth R520billion.

Malema said Sapoa’s members controlled approximately 90% of all commercial and industrial properties in South Africa.

He said that according to the “Transformation Sector Chapter Council”, of the R2 trillion commercial property market, black ownership was at less than 1%.

“The Property Sector Charter has failed drastically in the past due to its unbinding nature, thus the industry remains untransformed,” said Malema.

He said the property sector had to actively support the fight against corruption instead of being keyboard warriors on Twitter and Facebook, saying that soon government corruption would affect their bottom lines.

“They will steal elections, use security forces to suppress opposition.

"We are heading right in the direction of a state and institutional failure; we are fast approaching the highest state of lawlessness.

“But in the final analysis, you should also take the blame. You are among those who demonise the Freedom Charter, you demonise state-led industrial development, at the centre of which is a State Bank, land expropriation without compensation, state mining companies and free quality education,” said Malema.

Cape Times