Andile Mngxitama File picture: Masi Losi
Johannesburg – Black First Land First (BLF) president, Andile Mngxitama, said on Tuesday that white people were not invited to a land gathering that his movement was organising.

The BLF will hold a National Land Imbizo on Saturday in Soweto, calling for a national dialogue amongst the dispossessed on how to return land to them.

Mngxitama said that all land in white hands in South Africa was attained through colonial theft, and that most of the strife experienced by black people was due to such injustice.

"White people must not come unless they are coming to give us our land back. We [black people] are very angry. We cannot guarantee their safety," Mngxitama said.

Mngxitama was speaking during a media briefing in Johannesburg where he said that all black people from all political parties, organisations and movements were welcome to attend the national dialogue on land. Mngxitama said that only eight percent of the land had been bought back to dispossessed indigenous people, with only 35 000 white families owning 80 percent of the land.

He said the Constitution did not allow land to be given back to its rightful owners, hence it must be changed. Mngxitama said at the current pace of land redistribution, it will take government more than 100 years to buy back only 30 percent of the land.

"BLF wishes to repeat that the resolution of the land question is bigger than any single political party. The return of the land to its rightful owners requires society itself to respond in unison. It is for this reason that a National Land Imbizo is proposed," Mngxitama said.

Mngxitama said the Land Imbizo would hear the voices of the landless and victims of racism, amongst others would be farm workers, traditional leaders and healers, land claimants, backyarders, evictees, shack dwellers, zama zamas and artisinal miners.

According to Mngxitama, the Land Imbizo is a forum where black people can discuss and plan for a multi-pronged action towards taking back the land.

"We don't want words we want action. The main objective of the Land Imbizo is to return land to black people so that we may be free," Mngxitama said.