All South Africans have an obligation to fight for the land they lost to European colonialists and other land grabbers during apartheid in order to work it and produce food for the nation, opposition Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) leader Julius Malema has said.Addressing party members during Freedom Day celebrations in Atteridgeville west of Pretoria on Tuesday, Malema said celebrating the country’s freedom must be accompanied with the majority black citizens having access to their own land – which is currently not the situation.
He added that it was uncalled for that 90% of the country’s land is still in the hands of the white minority in South Africa, 27 years after independence.
“Yet, we are called upon to celebrate Freedom Day when we are landless and have no food,” he said.
On the upcoming local government elections in October this year, Malema said campaigning for the polls would be a challenge due to the Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings.
“Nobody is going to tell us we are too many at the rallies after we had told them to postpone them due to the pandemic,” he said, as he urged EFF supporters to turn out in large numbers to vote for the party.
Also observing the occasion in the town of Botshabelo in the Free State Province, President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged that “in many parts of South Africa, the promise of 1994 has not yet been fulfilled.”
“Millions of South Africans still live in conditions of poverty and deprivation,” Ramaphosa said.
He said the majority of South Africans continued to suffer from a lack of basic of services.
“But as we celebrate this Freedom Day, we can point to the great progress we have made in confronting the apartheid legacy — from the provision of water and electricity to millions, to opening the doors of learning to the children of the poor, to the provision of health care, and to the lifting millions of people out of poverty,” he said.
On the forthcoming local polls, Ramaphosa called on South Africans “to demonstrate, with your vote, your intolerance for corruption, theft, and mismanagement of the funds that are meant for the benefit of you, the citizen.”