Commemorating the 2017 Human Rights Day, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has come to say that the day’s celebration is meaningless if black South Africans are yet to have their lands back.
In the party’s 2017 human rights day message to South Africans, the red berets celebrates with citizens on the journey so far but charged them to use their right to fight for their lands because this would only solidify their freedom.
Until there is justice and equality in relation to land‚ until the dignity of black people is restored through access to land‚ “any human rights attained are incomplete”‚ the EFF said adding that without land black people are condemned to live on their knees, without the dignity of identity and economic freedom.
The party has spearheaded the fight for blacks to regain their “lost rights” by first reclaiming their lands forcefully collected by the whites.
EFF’s commander-in-chief Julius Malema has on countless occasions charged black citizens to seize lands of their choice that has been occupied by the whites. His words have landed him in court where he had to face charges relating to the contravention of the Riotous Assemblies Act of 1956.
The leader has remained undeterred as he continues to pressure the ruling party to put the welfare of blacks at the fore-front of their policies.
The EFF reiterated its demand for land redistribution at the country’s 2017 human rights day celebration, saying the Sharpeville massacre which ended in the loss of 69 lives on this day in 1960 was a demonstration of the importance of human dignity.
“It highlighted the dehumanization of black people and their land dispossession. The lives of 69 people in Sharpeville‚ 3 in Langa and 26 in Uitenhage in 1985 on the same day ended in the hands of police brutality; a reality that still echoes in South Africa 22 years into democracy.”
The party added that the 2017 human rights day is an assertion that until there is justice and equality in relation to land‚ until the dignity of black people is restored through access to land‚ any Human Rights attained is incomplete.
“Increasingly, our people will ask what good is the right to vote without land? What good is freedom of movement, assembly and expression without the land?
“They will ask what good is right to life without land because without land we are condemned to live on our knees…without the dignity of identity and economic freedom.”
“This is because there can be no human right with no land. All human rights are unsustainable without the right to land. They all exist in a time boom because the majority of our people have to claim to this land,” the EFF asserted
The party said resisting and rejecting the Pass law was central to the question of land and that apartheid ensured that they treated natives of this country like foreigners in the land of their birth and ancestors.
President Jacob Zuma has during this year’s state of the Nation’s Address reiterated the need for the passage of the law that would allow land expropriation without compensation.
Expropriation without compensation would mark a radical policy departure for the ANC, shifting from a willing buyer-willing seller approach to more radical alternatives.
“We need to take bold steps that will transform our economy, including land ownership, very fast,” Zuma said in a speech outlining agricultural policy.
“We are busy amending [laws] to enable faster land reform, including land expropriation without compensation as provided for in the constitution.” He said, admitting that most of SA’s land remains in white hands, more than 20 years after the end of apartheid.
Analysts say the ruling party’s new, more hardline approach is in response to calls for the seizure of white-owned land by the opposition EFF. It is also a way to shore up support in the ANC’s rural political base ahead of internal party elections in December.
No Right to Pull the Country Backwards
Zuma said while unveiling a memorial grave site for Steve Biko in the Eastern Cape in commemoration of the 2017 Human Rights Day, that South Africans had no right to pull the country backwards .
He said South Africans must unite to make the counter prosperous and that no citizen has the right to stop the country form moving forward.
When they talked about human rights, he said, they talked about economic rights, the right to water and all other fundamental rights. They did not talk about rights vaguely.
“That’s what Biko sacrificed his life for,” Zuma said.
— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) March 21, 2017