Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder is trying to rewrite history and suggest that settlers and colonialists found South Africa as a “house to let”, the Young Communist League of SA said on Sunday.
“The fact is that land was dispossessed violently and through bloodshed, and ultimately legislated in 1913, leaving Africans with no choice but to subject themselves to wage exploitation in the mining industry,” YCLSA secretary Buti Manamela said in a statement on its lekgotla.
“Such utterances are nothing but archaic white denialism and [it] will defeat the very process of land redistribution and land restitution.”
On Wednesday, Mulder suggested in Parliament that black “Bantu-speaking” people had no historical claim to 40 percent of the country.
“Africans in particular never in the past lived in the whole of South Africa,” he said during debate on President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address.
Zuma later warned Mulder to tread carefully on the emotive issue of land reform.
On Sunday, the YCLSA called for Mulder’s resignation as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
“We do not believe that a person such as Pieter Mulder should serve in government, especially in his responsibility in Agriculture and Forestry,” said Manamela.
“We call for his immediate resignation as he does not share the overall objectives of government, or for the president to release him from his duties.”
However, Mulder — in his capacity as the leader of the Freedom Front Plus — reacted later on Sunday saying the league had twisted the comments he had made in Parliament.
“I referred in my speech to the historical acquisition of land. This argument is at present purposefully being presented in a twisted manner.”
He said his argument was that the Koi and the San were the first residents in Southern Africa. Thereafter groups from the North and from the South moved inland and forced the Koi and the San to dryer parts.
“These Northern and Southern groups can not lay claim to the whole land. I referred furthermore to food security and the problems that emotional slogans about land in the fulfilling of this task are causing,” he said.
In its statement, the YCLSA said concerns about the use of judicial institutions for political gain were also raised at its lekgotla.
“We support the proposed regulations for members of the judiciary to declare their business interests and benefits like all other public office bearers,” it said.
It would campaign for constitutional amendments to require the judiciary to be subjected to popular and democratic elections.
“If they serve the public, then the public must determine who should serve in such offices at all levels of the judicial system.”
The lekgotla also touched on the disciplinary hearing against suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema and his executive.
“… In the movement, individuals come and go, but the movement remains no matter how big we believe we are in comparison to the movement,” he said.
In November, Malema and other youth league leaders were found guilty of bringing the ANC into disrepute and of sowing division within the party.
This was after they, among other things, made comments about regime change in Botswana.
They were suspended for periods ranging from 18 months to five years and unsuccessfully appealed against the sanctions. They are now presenting evidence in mitigation. – Sapa