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South African Leader Julius Malema Fires Back At Australia Over Racist Comment

South African firebrand leader Julius Malema has slammed Australian Minister of Home Affairs Peter Dutton, who called for the country to fast-track visa applications for white South Africans.

White South African farmers “deserve special attention” from Australia due to the “horrific circumstances” of land seizures and violence, Peter Dutton said.

Recently in South Africa, there have been calls–particularly from Malema’s political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)–to confiscate white-owned farm land without compensation. South Africa has a history of racial problems due to the white minority of the country exploiting the black majority during the system of Apartheid, which lasted from 1948-1994.

While speaking to a crowd at Mpumalanga Stadium, Malema said, “A racist country like Australia says…’EFF wants to kill white farmers – they must come to Australia.’ If they want to go, they must go…they must leave the keys of the tractors because we want to work the land; they must leave the keys of the houses, because we want to live in those houses…they must leave everything that they did not come with to South Africa.”

Malema also went on to say that the process of expropriating land without compensation will not be violent: “We don’t know violence; we know negotiation…ultimately, the policy needed to be implemented because our land is our dignity.”

During Apartheid, many black South Africans were forcibly removed from land which was given to the white population, and to this date, there is a disproportionately high amount of land which is still in the hands of white South Africans, who comprise a mere 9 percent of the nation’s population.

Critics of land redistribution without compensation feel that it could end up resulting in food shortages similar to what took place in Zimbabwe after white farmers were forcibly removed from farms during the early and mid 2000s.

The call made by Dutton to fast-track visa applications for white South Africans has been met with mixed responses.

White South Africans are not in danger, and while farm murders in South Africa are a problem for the country, the majority of the attacks are not racially motivated. South Africa is a country with high levels of crime and violence regardless of race. In remote rural areas, these easy sources of money are likely to be farmers.

There has never been large-scale violence against white South Africans, yet Dutton has called to expedite their visa process. While the EFF is a young upstart political party and the primary proponent of land redistribution in South Africa, the EFF never advocated for a violent redistribution of land.

Instead, the EFF formed an alliance with the current government’s (the ANC) main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), and tactfully applied mounting pressure to force parliament to address the issue. In a somewhat surprising move the ANC supported the EFF’s move to amend the South African constitution to allow land redistribution without compensation.

Now the issue of land redistribution awaits a report from a constitutional review committee which must report by August 30 of this year.

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