Picture: @SALGA_Gov/Twitter

Johannesburg - Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has slammed the EFF for endorsing land occupations, saying the party was promoting illegality in the country.

Speaking on Thursday at the local government seminar organised by Salga in Joburg, Madonsela said the EFF’s call for people to take land was in violation of the Constitution which its leaders made an oath to uphold when they were sworn in as parliamentarians.

“What they don’t realise is that they are telling people that the law does not matter. Beyond taking the land, many people may start to ignore the law,” Madonsela said.

Her remarks come as the debate on the land question is raging throughout the country and with parliamentary public hearings on whether to amend section 25 of the Constitution to enable expropriation of land without compensation.

EFF leader Julius Malema is currently being charged criminally with incitement after he called for people to occupy land. Madonsela said while the debate on land reform was necessary for the country’s transformation, the EFF was dividing the country and encouraging people to “spit” on the country’s supreme law.

“I think the land must be shared by all and the process of land redistribution, restitution and tenure reform must be expedited. However that should not be done in defiance of the Constitution. Our leaders are asking people to spit on the Constitution we will come to regret it."

She said by telling people to be illegal, the red berets did not realise that their call for illegality would soon move beyond land occupations.

“That message is not only sent to those who want to take the land, but others to say protect yourselves illegally as well. So you are creating a lawless society unintentionally and also dividing the people, but for what? For votes?” Madonsela asked.

The EFF’s approach was running the risk of dividing the country. EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi had not responded by the time of going to press.

Political Bureau