The advert for property company Vineyards Estates.

Johannesburg - An advert “inspired by Julius Malema’s redistribution of wealth” rhetoric and encouraging those who can’t embrace change to sell their properties has been lashed for sowing divisions in the country and propelling racism.

Depicting six people dressed in red overalls and red berets, and one woman wearing a red cleaner’s outfit like the Economic Freedom Fighters, the advert is captioned “Emigrating” then goes on to tell its target market that “if you can’t see yourself embracing change… then you may be needing to sell or let your home now”.

While some people thought the advert, publicised in the Sunday Times’s property section, was funny, others labelled its creator Anton du Plessis a “dumb p**ph*l”.

“You try to promote an exclusive and upmarket image and then trash it with s*** like this. Do yourself a favour - keep politics out of business and business out of politics, especially if you are a dumb poephol,” read an e-mail sent to du Plessis.

In the picture Du Plessis is referred to as a “commander-in-chief” a title Malema has given himself. Surrounding him are staff members referred to as a PA, office manager, showhouse concierge, a pamphlet distributor and a woman in charge of rentals.

But on Friday morning, Du Plessis said all he meant to do was to “poke fun at people who were scared of the swart gevaar (black threat) and Julius Malema”.

He said many people living in the areas where Vineyards Estates operated thought the country would go into decline when someone like Malema entered Parliament.

Addressing students at the Vaal University of Technology in Vanderbijlpark in October, Malema said there would be no true reconciliation as whites owned the land.

In response to the advert, EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said: “You can’t help it, the EFF has the capacity and ability to really set off a lot of things that people do in relation to us.”

The Star and Sapa