Durban – The Economic Freedom Fighters in KwaZulu-Natal has been rallying members to support party leader Julius Malema when he again appears in the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Speaking to African News Agency (ANA) on Sunday, EFF KwaZulu-Natal chairman Vusi Khoza said leaders had been travelling in the Amajuba district to ensure supporters would gather at the court in large numbers.
“We are hoping for between 3000 and 10 000 people, but you never can tell. We will also use the opportunity as an [election] rally. [Malema] will address the crowd following his appearance,” said Khoza.
“By supporting him, we show that we support the cause he is fighting for, which is expropriation of land without compensation of any available land. It is something that we are not apologetic about. What makes us all upset is that an [apartheid-era] law is being used [to try to silence Malema], which we believe is unconstitutional.
“We are looking forward to a great rally [on Monday]. In the past when he appeared in the court, people from various political parties came to show support because they believe in [expropriation of land without compensation],” said Khoza.
Malema has been charged with contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act of 1956 following his comments at a rally in the same area in June 2016 where he encouraged supporters to occupy land. He has said he was merely paraphrasing the Freedom Charter, which states the land shall be shared among those who work it.
Following a previous appearance at the Newcastle court in November 2016 related to the same case, Malema stepped outside to address supporters and made similar statements that led to the charge.
“[You must] occupy the land, because they have failed to give you the land. When you are trying to occupy a piece of unoccupied land, [the authorities say] you are committing a crime, you know why? Because you are taking a white man’s land.
“I am here to disturb the white man’s peace. The white man has been too comfortable for too long... [black people] have never known peace,” Malema said.
White people had committed a “black genocide” when they arrived in South Africa. “They killed our people during land dispossession... they found peaceful Africans here, they killed them, they slaughtered them like animals; we are not calling for the slaughtering of white people, at least for now. What we are calling for is peaceful occupation of the land,” Malema said.
Malema’s Monday appearance is set to be brief as his legal team is in the process of challenging the constitutionality of the Act. The outcome of that case will affect the charges he faces in KwaZulu-Natal. According to his legal team, the Act is a relic of apartheid that was used to suppress the free speech of black citizens and should be scrapped.
African News Agency (ANA)