South Africa’s white farmers should stop being sensitive and participate in critical debates on the transformation of the agricultural landscape and other emotive issues, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema told a forum of agricultural roleplayers in the Western Cape on Wednesday night.
Speaking at a dinner hosted by the forum – which calls itself “Gesprek” – Malema moved to allay white fears on “expropriation without compensation”.
“As long as it’s a productive farm, we don’t have to interfere with the production on that piece of land,” Malema said.
“When 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.”
But, he wasted little time before warning farmers that they needed to play their part in empowering black people.
“You owe it to the people who have been oppressed… to mentor them,” Malema said.
“If 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’.”
Those who did not want to contribute to transforming the sector were free to pack up and leave.
“There is no white man… no white woman who is going to be driven into the sea,” he assured the farmers.
“Feel free to leave, but you would miss out. You will miss us. We won’t miss you.”