President Cyril Ramaphosa used the Afrikanerbond centenary celebrations to stress that land must be shared equally among South Africans. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA

Paarl - President Cyril Ramaphosa used the Afrikanerbond centenary celebrations to stress that land must be shared equally among South Africans.

Speaking at Rhebokskloof wine estate in Paarl on Thursday evening, a diplomatic Ramaphosa heaped praise on the role of the Afrikanerbond, previously known as the Afrikaner Broederbond. 

Afrikanerbond chair Jaco Schoeman referred to the organisation's commitment to dialogue. He pleaded with Ramaphosa to “step out of the grey area” and "back closer to the constitution". 

Advancing the ANC's 2016 conference resolutions, Ramaphosa pleaded with the Broederbond to back land reform. The president, responding to Schoeman's statement on the constitution, called on the Afrikanerbond to not be alarmed, and instead to participate in creating an equal South Africa. 

He said rather than seeing the question of land as "reason to pack and go" and "raise alarm bells, we need to accept there was an injustice". 

Ramaphosa told the gathering the Freedom Charter states that South Africans want to share the resources, land, mineral wealth equally. 

"The question is not whether or not we must have land reform. Have it we must," he said. 

If not undertaken at all, the country will remain divided, he said. "Afrikaners are by name and definition Africans. And we can't run away from that," he said, to a rousing round of applause. 

Read President Ramaphosa's full speech at the #Afrikanerbond centenary

As we reflect in the Afrikanerbond's 100 years, Ramaphosa said: "we must accept that the Afrikanerbond was an instrument of oppression".

He added that the Afrikanerbond must be in the forefront of changing the structure of the economy. 

"The land shall be shared. The land should've never been (owned) by one group". He adds that it "should never have been like that" after 1994.