EFF STATEMENT ON LAND EXPROPRIATION, VOTER REGISTRATION AND RESTORATION OF THE RULE OF LAW
Thursday, March 8, 2018
We want to take this opportunity to make a call to all young people in South Africa to go and register to vote. All youth above the age of 16; you must make an effort to visit your nearest voting station this weekend on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th March 2018. We make this special call because 2019 elections belong to the youth.
For the first time, young people will constitute the overwhelming majority of the voter’s roll. This means two things; one is that since 1994, the elders in this county have been the ones at the majority of determining the future we are in today. This is the future of high youth unemployment, inequalities, landlessness, de-industrialisation, poverty and land hunger.
Two, it means the elders in society, in their majority, have been maintaining a State leadership full of corruption, state capture, maladministration, and which has collapsed healthcare, education and never invested in higher education and skills. The year 2019 is, therefore, the year where the youth must change this direction; but young people across the country can only do so if they register, in order to appear on the IEC voters roll.
Let the voting stations be filled with the youth. In the same way, we filled university campuses in January to stage walk-in to take advantage of free education, let us stage walk-in in all voting stations across the country and register to vote EFF.
The EFF welcomes and celebrates the fact that black political parties united in support of the expropriation of land without compensation motion. The 27th of February 2018 will go in history as one of the most important dates in the history of South Africa because on that day, the process that will culminate in the complete return of the land to the people was resolved by the overwhelming majority of South Africans.
The EFF calls on all South Africans of all races, creed and origin to make submissions to the Constitutional Review Committee of parliament and encourage all to stop the threats of war or civil conflict. Parliament has opened up a space for engagements and we believe that all South Africans should democratically participate and be willing to accept the democratic outcomes of these engagements. The EFF’s submission on land expropriation is that a democratically elected State and Government should be the primary custodian of all South Africa’s land, and begin the process of equal redistribution, with the principle of use it or lose it.
Whilst the Parliamentary process is ongoing, the EFF is willing to meet and engage with sensible and interested parties on the land question. We are particularly willing to meet and engage with King Goodwill Zwelithini, the Ingonyama Trust and all traditional leadership establishments and bodies that have interest in the constitutional and policy issues that relate to land ownership, control and redistribution.
It has however become very clear that there is a counter-movement forming in South Africa around the land expropriation without compensation resolution of parliament. This movement brings together right-wing formations like the FF Plus, AfriForum and liberal market-friendly formations like the DA and Cope. Behind this movement, is the South African media, which has taken sides against the popular democratic decision.
We are also aware that there are European Parliament Members who are trying to mobilise Europe into an imperialist neocolonial program of undermining the sovereignty and democratic rights of South Africa. We want to reiterate that land expropriation without compensation is a historic last resort after all market-led policies have failed to resolve land reform in South Africa. Over the last decade or more, these reactionary forces failed to come with alternative policies on land reform, yet they have the audacity to bastardise a democratic outcome.
We invite people not to be alarmist and cause unfounded panics. We must all be prepared to engage in a democratic debate and contribute to the Constitutional Review Committee of parliament. Whatever the case, it must be clear that land expropriation without compensation is no longer a debate; parliament has resolved on this. What is to be debated are the modalities thereof.
We call on white farmers to realise that putting their farms on a mortgage is not going to help them. The banks must also not participate in undermining land reform. The quickest way to get into a workable solution is to help facilitate equitable distribution of the land for all South Africans, black and white.
Following the DA’s attitude on expropriation of land without compensation in parliament, we have taken the decision to table a motion of no confidence in Athol Trollip as mayor of Nelson Mandela Municipality. We warned the DA that our continued support depends on their attitude on the question of the land. We have therefore taken a decision to table this motion against Athol Trollip because he is a national leader of the DA who as chairperson of the Federal Council, presided over the policy decisions of the DA. Other mayors in Tshwane and Johannesburg are not national leaders and thus cannot be the target.
Trollip ought to know that his role in the reactionary decision to oppose land expropriation, which seeks to maintain white supremacy and the indignity of black people, has implications on local municipalities. This decision by the EFF is based on the fact that those who oppose land expropriation is wittingly or unwittingly protecting white privilege and saying we must continue with property relations that remain colonial and apartheid based.
It is very clear that Ramaphosa is not willing to clean up the state and break with the tentacles of the Guptas-Zuma years. We have agreed to give him a chance to prove himself against corruption, but his snail pace will cause us to a confrontation. We have long called on Malusi Gigaba to be dispensed with following his role in the state capture. Gigaba is the engine that drove Gupta corruption into all state entities. This was cemented by even illegally awarding them citizenship rights so they can also vote and have the benefits enjoyed by many South Africans.
If Ramaphosa will not do away with individuals who have undermined the law, and broken oaths of office, including the Executive Ethics Code, we will have to help him, in the same way, we did with Zuma. The South African parliament is supposed to focus on the business of running the country, but amongst us, we have people whose presence in parliament is a direct promotion of lawlessness.
State Capture Commission of Inquiry
While in principle we celebrate the appointment of three black Senior Counsel, two of them being women, into the team of Evidence Leaders we wish to register two strong objections about the composition of the team.
Firstly we do not understand why Justice Zondo found it necessary to put these three capable black and women silks under white supervision by appointing a white Senior Council above them. Vincent Maleka SC would have been capable to lead the team and any white advocate could still have been included in a team led by Maleka SC.
Secondly, we question the appointment of Thandie Norman SC who is a direct appointee and representative of Jacob Zuma in the Judicial Services Commission (JSC). While we may accept her personal integrity, that is irrelevant on the issue of conflict of interest. Can someone who was handpicked by Zuma to represent him in the JSC act neutrally in a Commission in which the same Zuma stands as the principal person accused of masterminding state capture? This is not an issue about her, but about the need for the public to confidence in this important Commission and not repeat the wastage of taxpayers money which we saw in the Seriti Commission, and to some extent the Marikana Commission.
We also note that Deputy Chief Justice Zondo has appointed the team that will lead investigations at the inquiry into State capture. We object to the appointment of Terrence Nombembe as the lead investigator of the Commission. Terrence Nombembe is the CEO of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountant (SAICA), which received a donation of R1.2 million from Trillian Capital in 2017.
By the time SAICA received the donation, it was a common cause and public knowledge that Trillian Capital was used as a corruption vehicle by the Gupta criminal syndicate and had received more than R500 million from ESKOM. By 2017, it was public knowledge that Trillian Capital Directors Eric Wood and Salim Essa were involved in the extremely corrupt shenanigans that led to the removal of Nhlahla Nene as Minister of Finance and appointment of Des Van Rooyen in what was clearly the epitome of State Capture.
When the EFF Parliamentary Caucus became aware of this donation to SAICA, we wrote a letter to Mr Terrence Nombembe to ask him to confirm and explain the donation from Trillian Capital. Instead of explaining why he received and accepted a donation from a criminal syndicate, the only thing Mr Nombembe did was respond with an email arranging for a phone call conversation. The fact that Mr Nombembe could not explain himself on whether and why he received a donation from Trillian Capital, which is one of the main protagonists in State capture, disqualifies him as a lead investigator in the inquiry.
The fact that SAICA received a donation of stolen money from Trillian Capital disqualifies Mr. Nombembe from the role he has been designated as lead investigator. The EFF will write to DCJ Zondo to ask him to recuse Mr. Nombembe from the commission. This is also because the EFF intends to call him as a witness in front of the Commission.
If Mr. Nombembe insists on staying on as lead investigator, the EFF will approach a Court of Law to pray for his disqualification from the process due to conflict of interests.
The Commission of Inquiry into State capture must not be presided over or aided by people who have conflict of interests. We, therefore, call on all those who have been appointed and know that they have conflictual relationship with potential witnesses to immediately recuse themselves from the process. South Africa deserves to know and take action against all hoodlums and criminals who undermined our sovereignty, collapsed State Owned Companies and zombified many political leaders and public servants.
Value Added Tax
The EFF is on record as being strongly opposed to the VAT increase introduced by Gigaba and Ramaphosa last month as it will mostly hurt the poor. The government should have increased corporate taxes, to make the big companies, who are in any way involved in a lot of illicit financial flows, tax base erosion and profit shutting, to pay more tax. We, therefore, support the campaign by civil society to force the government to recreate VAT.
We want to condemn the slow pace with which the South African government, in particular, the departments of health, agriculture as well as the National Consumer Commission, are dealing with the outbreak of listeriosis. The first step should have been to declare a crisis once the source had been identifying and taking into consideration that ours is the largest outbreak regarded in history.
Many retail outlets in rural South Africa still have products that are linked to the spread of listeriosis. In addition, there is no disposal plan for the withdrawn products from retail stores because they may very well find their way back into circulation.
The companies involved, Rainbow Chicken and Enterprise Foods, must take full responsibility for the outbreak and have the audacity to be prepared to compensate those infected and as well as those who died. This must be non-negotiable from a government that cares for lives. We have therefore instructed our lawyers to take class action against all companies involved in the spread of the listeriosis.
We reiterate our call that all fighters and fellow South Africans must do walk-in all nearby retail stores in rural and urban South Africa to ensure to help remove all products linked to listeriosis; polony, viannas, rainbow chicken and what is popularly known as russians.
Finally, we wish all women of the world, in particular, working class, black and African women a happy international women’s day.
Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, 8 March 2018