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Rustenburg - White South Africans were still refusing to hand over the land they had inherited through theft, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said on Sunday at the launch of the party, held in Marikana, North West.
Thousands of EFF members braved the scorching sun for the launch at the Nkaneng informal settlement.
Members dressed in red berets and T-shirts sat on top of a hill while others sat on the grey clay soil around the stage.
The land of South Africa belonged to the landless, Malema said.
“This is your land. You do not have to pay for the land. It has been already paid by the sweat of your fathers,” he said.
He said white South Africans were still refusing to hand over the land they inherited through theft.
“Till today they are not ashamed of the killing of our people. They want us to kneel before them. We are not going to do that.
“When you took the land from blacks you committed black genocide. You are not ashamed of taking our land. And we are not going to beg for our land,” said Malema.
He said that when the rich shared with the poor there would be no crime.
“If you share with the poor there will be no need to build high walls at your home.”
“Those who are not prepared to share, worry about yourselves. Those who are prepared to share, we will kiss each other.”
He said the ANC misled people by continuously preaching that South Africa was a “Rainbow Nation” because various races had reconciled. “It can’t be reconciliation during rugby matches only, after the rugby match, back to reality. It can’t be the rainbow nation during the performance of (US singer) Rihanna, after the performance of Rihanna, back to reality,” said Malema.
He said reconciliation could not happen while the issue of land still had not been resolved.
He said the EFF was not afraid of confronting white bosses for not paying workers and for abusing them.
“You must fight these abuses whether Julius Malema is there or not… You must be a Malema at your workplace.”
He said the police should take off their uniforms when instructed to kill innocent people. “Give them their uniforms and weapons. Tell them you do not want a salary with blood on it.” He was referring to the shooting of 34 mineworkers in Marikana in August last year.
Malema called on teachers to teach pupils first and go on strike after school.
“When you strike after school the children will join you,” he said.
The EFF launch trended on Twitter for much of Sunday.
While Malema was critical of the ruling party’s track record, with some communities being left without water, he paid tribute to the Struggle veterans of the ANC, the PAC, Azapo and others, such as SACP leader Chris Hani, who was assassinated on the eve of South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.
But, Malema said, the Struggle was not over.
“Madiba knew that 1994 meant the winning of the battle, not the winning of the war.
“Today, we are giving birth to the warriors to win the war,” he said, adding that it was time to take back the land and restore the dignity of the black majority.
“Now is the time for delivery on the promises of 1994.
“Now is the time no black person shall walk in this town ashamed of being black.
“Now is the time to replace an inferior education system… Let us fight against the blacks who think that being in debt is an economic freedom.”
He told the crowd to vote for a real president, and not a “dancer”. “Refuse to vote for a singer and dancer. We want a thinker to drive the policy of our country.
“I want to say to South Africans I apologise for giving you this mediocrity. I apologise for giving you a mediocre non-thinker and non-reader.”
The crowd responded by waving their hands in a circle, indicating a need for change.
Malema vowed to make the Gupta family pay for embarrassing the country, including with their controversial landing of a plane at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.
He said the day the EFF took power, they would be punished for all their “wrongs”.
“This country will never be government by the Guptas. I want to warn the Guptas that the day we take over, we will punish you for the sins you have committed,” Malema thundered, to applause.
He said a giant had been born. “A different baby is born today, a giant… A child that walks immediately. This is the home for the hopeless.”
The expelled ANC Youth League leader also criticised whites who were opposed to the renaming of cities and towns named after “boer generals”. “They are refusing to change the name Pretoria. The name of Paul Kruger that is still everywhere must be changed.”
Malema said the current crop of ANC leaders were responsible for entrenching white supremacy and betraying the sacrifices of its “fearless” founding fathers and successive generations.
He concluded his speech by singing the controversial “Shoot the Boer” song.
The Star, Political Bureau and Sapa