Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota File picture: ANA

Johannesburg - Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota has remained defiant about his views on land and says expropriation of land without compensation will take the country “back to war”. 

Lekota said the EFF’s ideas around expropriation of land without compensation were dangerous and that the party’s leader Julius Malema did not understand the consequences that come with a war over land.

“Those who don't know about war, peacetime heroes know nothing about war. Why is war a virtue today when generations of mankind saw all the world wars? Does Malema even know what a genocide is? It’s horrible,” said Lekota. 

“I am quite convinced that if South Africans allow for a majority of people in Parliament to say let's take land without compensation then black, white and Indian people will die,” he said. 

Also read: Heckling and scuffles mar Unisa land debate

He was speaking at a briefing on Wednesday morning where he attempted to clarify comments he made at a land debate hosted at Unisa on Monday.

Lekota said in order to distribute land, it was important that people who receive the land were able to work on it through farming, or the land distribution would be fruitless.

“When we give people land we need to know they can actually build on it and grow as farmers. Huge tracts of land have been given to people who know nothing about farming. It is bought for R6 million and then sold for R50 000. We want to train you and give you support,” he said.

The former ANC member also used the briefing to defend white South Africans and said the hatred of the Afrikaans version of the national anthem was hypocritical. 

Some political parties like the EFF do not sing the Afrikaans chorus of the anthem. 

“People who sit down in Parliament when the Afrikaans part of the national anthem is sung are ignorant. At Codesa It was only us South Africans. We chose who chairs it, leads committees, and who would take decisions,” he said.

Lekota also clarified a statement he made on Monday that he was “still ANC”. He said that everything he knows he was taught by the ANC, but he could not identify with the current leadership and its values.

The land debate has become an emotive topic in the country since the majority of MPs in Parliament voted for proposing amendments to the constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. 

A committee was formed to look into the feasibility of amending the constitution. The public submissions on the topic have opened. The committee has until August to report back to Parliament.

Political Bureau