BLF SUPPORTS STUDENTS CONTINUING WITH PROTESTS AND REJECTS BOTH THE SRC MEETING WITH BLADE NZIMANDE AND THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING

 

IMG-20160112-WA0008On Thursday 14 January 2016, Minister Blade Nzimande met with the Student Representative Council’s (SRC’s) from across academic institutions nationally in Kempton Park, Johannesburg. This came after President Jacob Zuma almost robotically announced a Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education Funding.

Since the beginning of the student protests for Free Education, historically black universities and the popular #FeesMustFall campaign, students have been clear on what is needed: Free Education. Hence calling a meeting with a select group, SRC’s who have been rejected by the students and therefore have no legitimacy, is opportunistic and seeks to crush a genuine desire that all should be allowed to learn.

It is an obvious and outdated strategy by the anti-black ANC government to setup a commission, which we know only serves to lull those who demand a basic human right into some kind of inactivity. Having a Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education Funding further enforces that education must be commodified for it to be any good, a lie that goes directly against the demand for Free Socialist Black Centred Education.

The neglect of the students and their basic human rights is seen at a number of levels. Since the ANC government became the operators of the anti-black system they have had 22 years to think and strategise, that’s not considering the 100+ years of planning they should have done. It is now time for action.

The meetings by Minister Blade Nzimande with SRC’s ignored the position taken by students, “Nothing About Us, Without Us!” The announcement of this commission undermines the holistic work done by students around education and further ignores the fact that it is impossible to have a decolonised University in a colonised country, hence the demand for Fees Must Fall is equally the demand for Land!

BLF stands with the students, Nothing About Us, Without Us!

BLF rejects the SRC’s as they are part of the ANC government’s anti-black machine operators maintaining a white-supremacist order. BLF further rejects the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education Funding as a ploy to supress the students, and buy time to safeguard the ANC’s political ambition for the 2016 local elections.

BLF calls on students from across the country to:

1) continue to isolate sell-outs – SRC, PYA, SASCO, Nehawu and any ANC aligned movements

2) shutdown campuses until the demand for Free Socialist Black Centred Education is met

3) occupy anti-black state institutions such as The Union Buildings, Parliament of South Africa as well as Luthuli House

BLF implores all black people to remember that we cannot decolonise a university in a colonised country, and so the call for Free Socialist Black Centred Education is the call for Land.
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT

15 January 2016

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@­gmail.com

Zanele Lwana
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 486 9087 Mail: zanelelwana@gmail.co­m

Lindsay Maasdorp
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 915 2957
Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.c­om

VUKA DARKIE SPECIAL EDITION – BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST: THE STRUGGLE FOR FREE SOCIALIST BLACK CENTERED EDUCATION CONTINUES

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BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST: THE STRUGGLE FOR FREE SOCIALIST BLACK CENTERED EDUCATION CONTINUES

BLF applauds those who continue to play their part in the student struggle for Free Education, recognising the courageous work done in 2015, including the continual planning over what was meant to be a “festive period”. The principled position taken by the #FeesMustFall movement who rejects the idea of “Business as Normal, in an Abnormal Society”, is exemplary and speaks to the desire for black liberation from an anti-black, white-supremacist society.

APPLYING SANKOFA WISDOM WE LOOK BACK AND LEARN FROM KEY MOMENTS IN THE 2015 #FEESMUSTFALL STRUGGLE:

Unprincipled Unity is No Unity at All! – At the beginning of the #FeesMustFall struggle, BLF warned that an unprincipled unity with ANC via PYA, SASCO and other affiliates is no unity. Later, the #FeesMustFall movement was hijacked by the ANC, where they tried to dilute the radical politics of the movement, which saw it splintering and in need of rebuilding.

Why call unity with ANC aligned organisations unprincipled? Because it is the ANC that makes laws that exclude blacks, it’s ANC laws that legalise outsourcing and it’s the ANC government that killed workers in Marikana.

We call on #FeesMustFall to take a principled Black First position, recognising that the decolonisation project must essentially be rooted in Black Struggle. Furthermore, we warn against the liberalising of the movement, which is a product of unprincipled unity.

CONCERNING VIOLENCE –

We live in a violent state that sees black people as animals. The brutality by police on the UWC, TUT and CPUT students, when these notably black students refused to continue as if the struggle for liberation could simply be postponed, showed us the disdain for black life. Worse still, when these students defended themselves by using anti-black structures to counter institutionalised racism, they were rendered barbaric. We must be clear that violence is the only end toward social change, and to condemn the use of violence for liberation is to be anti-black. Impossible to have a Decolonised Institution in a Colonised Country – All institutions form part of society and has the purpose of serving the ends of society. These colonial institutions of learning thus serve only to promote an anti-black society and to groom black people to be machine operators of an anti-black system that safeguards land theft. We ask, what is education without land? Frantz Fanon says –

“For a colonized people the most essential value, because it’s the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.”

WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

The struggle for Free Socialist Black Centred Education must be rooted in the quest to take back the land.

We must continue to use the program of #FeesMustFall to build principled black unity that prepares us for the liberation of the black majority. We recognise that Black History has deployed us into these anti-black institutions to move the black struggle toward liberation. While participating in an anti-black educational system, our analysis of oppression must assist us in the fight for liberation.

We must continue the struggle to End Outsourcing Now! – we reject the slave wages paid to our parents, the postponement of insourcing, and the continual refusal to allow worker rights. We must continue to demand that our parents earn a Living Wage, enjoy the full benefits at the institutions they work in, and are seen as co-leaders with the students of the institutions they make up. Without students and workers there will be no institution.

We are the institution, we must decide its future!

The Worker and Student Alliance is thus imperative. There is only one black struggle!

We are principally united Black First. The struggle for #FeesMustFall and the struggle to #EndOutourcingNow is a struggle for liberation, and exists in the context of reclaiming the land that was stolen, the land that brings justice!

BLF recognises that the utterances of Chris Hart and Penny Sparrow have far reaching ideological implications for the consolidation of the white power structure to further its anti-black project in all aspects of the black condition including education and most importantly land. To this end –  BLF maintains its demand for the “criminalisation of racism with the provision that blacks can’t be racist” and urges that the rallying call for #FeesMustFall incorporates the complete liquidation of racism.

“NO BUSINESS AS NORMAL, IN AN ABNORMAL SOCIETY”

1) Free Registration – No student should pay for education and all unemployed persons should register to learn
2) Free Education – No student should pay for education, including all human requirements to participate in education (housing, food etc)
3) End Outsourcing Now – In-source all workers, pay living wage with full employee benefits
4) Criminalise racism with provision that “Blacks can’t be racist”
5) Shut down all campus’ nationwide – No campus should be allowed to function if they refuse Free Socialist Black Centred Education and to Insource Workers, paying them a Living Wage, extending full employee benefits and recognising Students and Workers as the highest decision makers.
6) Occupy institutions of governance – Parliament of South Africa, Union Buildings as well as Lethuli House
7) Shutdown SONA – 7pm, Thursday, 11 February 2016

LET’S TAKE BACK THE LAND FOR FREE SOCIALIST BLACK CENTERED EDUCATION!

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BLF CONTACT DETAILS

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com

Zanele Lwana

Cell: +27 79 486 9087

Mail: zanelelwana@gmail.com

Lindsay Maasdorp

Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.com

 

Face book page: Black First Land First

Twitter: @black1stland1st

Blog: http://www.black1stland1st.wordpress.com

 

BLF APPLAUDS THE RESILIENCE OF THE WITS #FeesMustFall MOVEMENT IN THE WAKE OF ANC BRUTALITY

 

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On the 11th January 2016 the WITS #FEESMUSTFALL took up their revolutionary duty by occupying Solomon Mahlangu House (Senate House). After spending much of the summer rebuilding the WITS FMF movement that the PYA (the youth movement of ANC alliance) tried to destroy, WITS FMF successfully put a stop to the commencement of registration, which was then postponed until Thursday, 14th of January 2016. The success of WITS FMF now sees the same sell-out PYA which leads WITS SRC, trying to take credit for the FMF campaign and re-enter the WITS FMF movement. PYA members entered a mass gathering on Monday evening and asking to be allowed back into the movement claiming to be “students first” before ANC members. Yet after much debate PYA left the gathering, stating “we need to speak to our mother body (ANC) before agreeing”. A few hours later at 6am, 12th of January 2016, WITS FMF received eviction letters  written and signed by Deputy VC Tewana Coupe (not a court order as they have stated in media) to vacate the premises within 5min. Followed by approx 60 private security personnel storming through the university assaulting students and then police being seen both inside and at strategic entrances to the academic institution.

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How can Deputy VC Tewana Coupe on behalf of WITS management evict students from an academic institution? It speaks to the hypocrisy of the academic institution leaders and the state crisis academia finds itself in. The struggle for Free Socialist Black Centred Education reveals that the white-centric com-modified education creates no capacity to think beyond whether students are paying, or whether students can learn through the struggle experiences they are engaged in. The revolutionary process means that the contestation for new ideas lives out in the confrontation of sell-out student leaders, police, and private security as the actors of ANC abuse.
BLF has repeatedly declared that “Unprincipled Unity is No Unity At All”, and here again we see the full machinery of the ANC to make true on their promise to crush movements who simply want the basic right to education. The ANC utilising their youth (PYA), academic student structures (SRC), private security and police trying to ensure that the commodification of the black child stays intact.

As BLF we want to place a firm warning to the movement that the ANC government in protection of white-monopoly capital is not to be trusted. That there is no difference between the Police, Private Security, WITS SRC and PYA, they are all machine operators of the ANC anti-black project which defends the anti-black white-supremacist order.

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BLF calls on WITS FMF to remain principally united, rejecting anti-black WITS SRC, PYA and any movement or body that seeks to undermine the struggle for black liberation.

 

BLF rejects the idea that police and private security can enter academic institutions as a means to solve a political crisis.

 

BLF views the students and workers as the highest decision makers and thus rejects the notion that WITS management can simply tell students to leave and then call police and private security onto campus.

 

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT

 

12 January 2016

 

Contact Details

 

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com

 

Zanele Lwana

(National Spokesperson)

Cell: +27 79 486 9087

Mail: zanelelwana@gmail.com

 

Lindsay Maasdorp

(National Spokesperson)

Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.com

 

BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST COMMEMORATES THE BIRTHDAY OF THE FATHER OF PAN-AFRICANISM ROBERT MANGALISO SOBUKWE

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On this day the 05-12 1924 in Azania the God of Africa gave to us a warrior, a leader, a servant of the the African people and that was Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe. Even his name Mangaliso which means a “Miracle” really for Azania, his birth was almost miraculous because Africa was in great need for a leader of his stature. Today we remember not only the man but his service to the realisation of a free Azania, where black people will be able to call their souls their own.

 

As BLF we draw our strength from this giant of Africa, to continue with his vision of a free Azania that truly belongs to its people. Today is a day all black people should use to reflect; organise ourselves and check whether we are still on the path which was charted to us by Sobukwe. BLF recognises that it is due to Sobukwe that we can affirm unequivocally without fear of contradiction, that for any meaningful freedom to be realised it must be for Black people first as we continue to be the most oppressed people in South Africa.

 

BLF knows that Sobukwe cannot be happy where he is when after 21 years of the so called democratic South African rule its people still remain the most poor and landless. We know this because for Sobukwe the land remained until his death the most essential, for he realised that without the people owning their land there can be no freedom, for without the land that nation is doomed.  The PAC’s famous rallying call “Izwe Lethu” which puts the land question at the centre of our peoples struggles attest to why the land question cannot be compromised.

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This fundamental pillar is what led Sobukwe to breakaway from the ANC in 1955 when it adopted the Freedom Charter in Kliptown. Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe was totally against the notion that our land belonged to all who lived in it, meaning even those who colonised us had a rightful claim to our land.

In 1958 Sobukwe said on the adoption of the Freedom Charter:

“according to us the Freedom Charter is an irreconcilable conflict with the 1949 Programme seeing that it claims land no longer for Africans, but is auctioned for sale to all who live in this country. We have come to the parting of ways and we are here and now giving notice that we are disassociating ourselves from the ANC”

Today, on the birth day of the father of Pan-Africanism in occupied Azania BLF wish to reaffirm our commitment of the return of the land to its rightful owners (Africans) without any compensation or compromise. We wish to reaffirm as Sobukwe did before us that we will reject and expose anyone or any organisation that seeks to promote the “sell-out Freedom Charter” to our people as a solution to the return of our stolen land and our long lost freedom.

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The Freedom Charter is not a bible for liberation, it is a program of surrender. It was written by whites to maintain white supremacy and it is a tragedy that black leaders have been coerced by agents of whiteness to promote it as a programme of liberation.

Sobukwe as a leader served, suffered and sacrificed for the realisation of a free Azania. In an age where leaders of political partys in South Africa would not dare do what s/he asks of her/his members, Robert Sobukwe serves as a shining example of true revolutionary leaders that led from the front, instilling the type of leadership that institutionalised the moto “a leader must walk the walk and talk the talk” to engender confidence in the masses. Sobukwe remains one of the most feared revolutionaries in the history of the liberation struggle,  because of his non compromising stance on land, there has been focused efforts to systematically erase his powerful legacy.

We commit ourselves to never sell-out Sobukwe’s dream by deceiving the landless and the oppressed! We know the Freedom Charter is a programme of surrender not revolution! We stand with Sobukwe and Biko in the total rejection of the Freedom Charter!

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We thank our black Gods for Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe.

Azania shall prevail! Izwe Lethu! Sobukwe Lives!

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT

5 December 2015

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@­gmail.com

Zanele Lwana

(National Spokesperson)

Cell: +27 79 486 9087 Mail: zanelelwana@gmail.co­m

 

Lindsay Maasdorp

(National Spokesperson)

Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Mail: lgmaasdorp@hotmail.c­om

COMPLAINT  AGAINST EFF PRESIDENT JULIUS SELLO MALEMA

COMPLAINT AGAINST EFF PRESIDENT JULIUS SELLO MALEMA

I am a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). I belong to Thomas Sankara Ward 78 in the Tshwane Region. I am also an additional member of the Branch Command Team (BCT).

I am lodging a complaint regarding the criminally and politically offensive conduct of the President of the EFF, Julius Sello Malema. The nature and content of the allegations that constitute my complaint clearly disclose certain offence(s) as contemplated in the EFF Discipline Code of Conduct.

EFF was conceived by a politics and ideological perspective that locates at its centre the total liberation of the oppressed majority via the realization of its 7 non negotiable cardinal pillars as indicated in both the EFF Constitution and Founding Manifesto. Land expropriation without compensation is the first of the cardinal pillars of the EFF.

The EFF Founding Manifesto and policy document on land elaborates significantly on the meaning and implementation of this cardinal pillar number one. We have in our founding documents exposed the colonial theft of all land and vowed to expropriate all of it without compensation.. We condemned the theft, allocation, denial and use of our land along racial capitalistic lines!

We offered the ruling party our proportion of the national votes so that the constitution of the country could be amended so as to cater for “land expropriation without compensation”.

On Wednesday 22 April 2015 in PAARL Julius Malema engaged the leaders of the white agricultural sector in the Western Cape at a dinner hosted by their forum“Gesprek”. At this event Malema reassured whites that their interests in land are secured and intact and in this way allayed their fears on the issue of “expropriation of land without compensation”.

He told these whites “(a)s long as its a productive farm, we don’t have to interfere with the production on that piece of land.” This is clearly not in line with EFF’s cardinal pillar number one.

He further clarified and reassured the white agricultural sector that,“(w)hen there is part of a land which is not used for agriculture purposes, we would be having a problem. All we are saying is the land must be used. It must not lie idle”. Julius Malema accordingly thus guaranteed unhindered and free ownership, use and enjoyment of land by whites under EFF governance. He further encouraged them not to leave any land idle so as to ensure full ownership (by themselves) of all land. Again this is clearly not in line with EFF’s cardinal pillar number one which is self explanatory.

Malema called on white farmers to empower black people. Firstly, since Malema had already guaranteed them that all their interests in land will be secured as is the case now, it is clear that the interests of blacks in land repossession without compensation were sold out by him to allay white fears. Secondly, our first cardinal pillar is clear “expropriation of land without compensation”. This means that we take our destiny into our own hands and take back our land without compensation to the land thieves!
Malema’s call here is clearly in contravention of cardinal pillar number one.

To add insult to injury our President then does the despicable thing of asking these white farmers to mentor blacks. The EFF Constitution calls for the destruction of white supremacy together with the bourgeoisie and all other exploitative relations and upon its ashes to install a system that responds to the total needs of the people. It intimates that the medium through which white supremacy is to be destroyed is via the realisation of the 7 non negotiable cardinal pillars. How is white supremacy (and in particular whiteness as a system and culture of black oppression) going to be destroyed when Malema calls on whites (who are sustained by white supremacy) to mentor blacks. The call for mentorship of blacks (in relation to land) by whites under a system of white supremacy is a call to sustain the same oppressive system. This call by our president is clearly in conflict with cardinal pillar number one.

Malema went on to say to the members of Gesprek, “(i)f you love this country, you must love its people. Say to them I’m volunteering my services. I’m going to make sure the land is used productively and used to feed the children of this community…We need to protect you. We need to make wine from France very expensive.”

He basically guaranteed that the current racist capitalist relations would remain intact and effectively pleaded for whites to love blacks and to re-assure us that they will use the land productively and feed us. He intimated that an EFF government would also subsidize and protect (white) farmers so as to ensure that they are not disadvantaged by “cheap agricultural imports”.

When against this backdrop Malema subsequently said that “(e)verybody in agriculture will be given tractors and seeds…to allow agriculture to continue” he was clearly not referring to blacks whose rights he had already denied by abandoning the first cardinal principle of “expropriation of all land without compensation”. Moreover when Malema asks these white captains of agriculture to “(t)ransfer that skills so we can double production in agriculture…and create some opportunities for previously disadvantaged people of South Africa,” it is a plea to no end since he already vowed not to upset the current racist capitalist relations in relation to productive land.

As a member of the EFF it is my right to defend the party’s cardinal pillars and in this case I rise in defence of cardinal pillar number one.

I submit that EFF in not a poor party as it receives about R70 million from the people of this country via the IEC and parliament annually. Irrespective of the financial status of the organization there is no need for julius Malema, as the leader of the EFF, to plead with land thieves for money in exchange for the birthright of blacks. .

Julius Malema’s offer to the white farmers was in effect a relinquishment of the right to productive land of the black majority (whose interests the EFF has pledged to realize and protect) in exchange for donations and for non productive land.

The promise of Julius Malema to the white agricultural sector to expropriate only “non-productive” land serves to protect white farmers against EFF’s committment for land repossession via occupations so as to correct the original colonial land theft.

As a result of his conduct as indicated above Julius Malema, as President of EFF, has contravened sections 1.1.1; 1.1.2; 1.1.3; 1.1.11, and; 1.1.15 the of the EFF Discipline Code of Conduct which provide as follows:

“1. No EFF member shall commit or participate in conduct, including utterances, which amounts to:

1.1. bringing the organisation into disrepute;

1.2. a breach of the EFF Constitution, its policies and principles;

1.3. abuse of power or office;

1.11. defining himself or herself outside the organisational structures and discipline;

1.15. undermining the integrity and impeding the organisational programmes of the EFF”

I am hereby charging Julius Malema in his capacity as aforesaid for contravening the above provisions of the EFF Discipline Code of Conduct and I ask that he be subjected to a disciplinary hearing without delay.

Yours In The Struggle For Economic Freedom In Our Lifetime,

Rre Botsang Moiloa
Tel: +27 83 884 7787
11 May 2015

HOW MALEMA SOLD OUT ON LAND REFORM

May 10 2015 at 08:37am

By Andile Mngxitama

 

EFF leader Julius Malema has watered down the principle of expropriation without compensation, writes Andile Mngxitama.

Last month, EFF leader Julius Malema abandoned the party’s radical demand for land expropriation without compensation. He opted instead for the amorphous reformist demand of expropriation of “non-productive land”.

The EFF stands on seven “non-negotiable” cardinal pillars, with land expropriation being at the top of the list.

The EFF founding manifesto is clear that land redress cannot be done piecemeal.

The manifesto is emphatic that all land will be expropriated without compensation. What happened here?

The EFF policy document on land is even more strident. It starts off by asking: “What shall we do with the land once it has been reclaimed?”

The document answers itself plainly: “There is a need to place the question squarely: land must be returned because it belongs to black people!” That’s the first principle.

What we would do with the land is none of the business of the land thieves. We want it back because it’s ours. The EFF’s main claim for land is based on the anticolonial logic that all land in South Africa is stolen property.

This logic goes as far as positing that the whole racist organisation of society, which ensures that blacks live in townships, in squatter camps and are landless while whites live in relative security, owning land and the economy, is a direct result of land dispossession.

We would do well to remember that when the EFF arrived in Parliament, it agitated robustly against “land thieves”. Furthermore, the ruling party was offered the EFF’s 6 percent of the national vote to amend the constitution to effect “land expropriation without compensation”.

Malema’s first gesturing towards reformism and the watering down of the land demand was made in his closing remarks at the EFF elective conference in December. He introduced the strange concept of “unoccupied land”.

As usual no one asked what that meant. All land is illegally occupied by dint of colonialism and the racist legal framework.

Faced with a roomful of the Stellenbosch white agricultural capitalist class, those whom the EFF calls land thieves, Malema finally abandoned the first EFF non-negotiable cardinal pillar and assured the white farmers that, as long “as it’s a productive farm, we don’t have to interfere with the production on that piece of land”.

He told them that when there is a part of the land “which is not used for agriculture purposes, we would be having a problem. All we are saying is the land must be used. It must not lie idle.”

Historical redress was replaced by concerns for productivity. Justice was replaced by colonial economics. In effect, the status quo was confirmed and a gradualist approach to land redress introduced.

These guarantees for white landowners diminish the urgency of addressing the land question radically. Instead, the EFF has adopted the ANC tempo, which has failed dismally to deliver land.

Underlying this compromise on the demand for land is the apartheid logic that if land is redistributed to blacks then people will experience food insecurity.

One wishes that the leader of the party had read his own party policies. Had he done so he would have known that a backlash from white landowners and global forces was anticipated, but would not be accommodated as this would be a surrender in the battle for decolonisation.

In Marxist parlance, it can be said that Malema abandoned any notion of socialist transformation, to maintain capitalist agricultural relations. He replaced radical transformation with the inclusion of blacks as farmers into the system.

In other words, he settled for a mere deracialisation of agricultural capitalism instead of agitating for its obliteration. To drive the point home, Malema asked white farmers to “mentor” new black farmers.

Here we see the admiration of the exploitative, violent, racist and environmentally unfriendly agricultural paradigm that puts profits before the people who drive the sector.

One has to ask what kind of mentoring we can expect from white farmers who make profits out of exploitation and produce for the global market using the most harmful chemicals.

Did we not see a violent protest by farmworkers in the Cape Winelands, which preceded the Marikana massacre? We see that, just like the mining sector, whose Cyril Ramaphosas are mentored by its white captains, Malema is asking for this for the agricultural sector.

The address to the white farmers was in effect a salesman’s pitch. In classical salesman style, Malema stroked his racist landed audience’s ego, in effect saying: “We admire you, you feed us, you mentor us, your land is safe, we would interfere only with that which you don’t want or use.”

In other words, he was saying: “Give us the rejected land.”

The sales pitch reached its apex with a plea, cap in hand – as Ian Du Toit of the Gesprek Forum, which invited Malema, told Cape Talk radio the day after his address. Du Toit reported that the EFF leaders ended their talk by asking for donations from the gathered landed settler oligarchy of Stellenbosch.

For their part the farmers were so impressed and so reassured that “many clamoured to have photographs taken with Malema”. Brilliant by any account.

The sting of this whole operation is that a leader who has massive financial problems of his own is seen here trading off one of the principles of his party in exchange for financial donations from the principal enemies of his party programme.

This is a betrayal of the vision of the EFF, which gave so many of us hope and courage. The militancy of the EFF’s demands and uncompromising stance revived hope in many.

The landless and poor believed the EFF was a party that would stand with them against the moneyed and powerful.

But, alas, this dream is fast turning into another nightmare.

The quick transition from expropriation of all land to “unoccupied” then “non-productive” land has had the effect of protecting white farmers. De facto fighters on the ground have been encouraged to occupy unoccupied municipality land to build shacks, thereby not interfering with white-owned land.

We saw in wealthy Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal how EFF members made a hasty retreat as soon as a farmer showed them his plans for the land. One moment the land was “unoccupied”, the next moment there were plans and the landless had to go home.

This is a strategy of deception. It is not calculated to address the rural or the urban land hunger. Land occupations have become a political football for next year’s local government elections.

The truth is that the ruling party has no programme, desire or courage to address these challenges because it is itself beholden to white capital. The landless are on their own.

In 21 years of democracy, only about 8 percent of the land has been returned. It would take more than 100 years to reach a mere 30 percent.

The principled demand for “land expropriation without compensation” is the only real answer to land redress. This demand must be driven by the truth that in 1652 a group of foreigners from Europe arrived here and used force of arms to take land from Africans.

They didn’t ask if the land was being used productively.

The racist scaremongering that blacks can’t farm must also be laid to rest and cannot be used by a party that claims to be radical, militant and socialist.

The agricultural sector is inefficient and racist and does not contribute to food security.

Our country is a net food importer and the sector contributes less than 5 percent to the gross domestic product while hiring an exploited and abused 700 000 farm workers.

This fundamental policy shift poses the question: Will ordinary members of the EFF defend the party’s cardinal pillars, or will they allow their leader to edit its policies and tailor them as he wishes?

The tragedy of this whole turn of events is that the EFF is not broke.

It gets close to R70 million a year from the Independent Electoral Commission and Parliament. The party does not need to go cap in hand to landowners, beg for money and water down party policies in doing so.

The African revolution has failed because leaders abandon principle for money and comfort. We are facing the prospects of an ugly African malaise in our new revolution.

Land is too important to be turned into a political game for small change from those whose fore-bears stole it from us.

Writer, philosopher and revolutionary Frantz Fanon put it elegantly when he said: “For a colonised people the most essential value, because it’s the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.”

*Mngxitama is a former EFF MP.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Sunday Independent (Newspaper)