Right now, South Africa is grappling with a monster. The issue of land expropriation is sensitive, emotive and certain to spark contention. But it cannot be avoided any longer, for the protracted failure to effectively handle land reform has brought our country to the edge of a precipice.
The question is whether we will now build a bridge to collectively take us across, or whether we will point to the precipice and tell our people to jump.
That is the choice facing every political leader.
The IFP chose to be bridge-builders more than 4 decades ago. It is part of our DNA. We therefore balk at anyone who sets their sights on burning bridges. And that is, unfortunately, the central focus of the EFF.
We all watched Mr Malema gifting cattle to the King of the Zulu Nation. The King graciously received him twice. It seemed that the EFF’s Commander-in-Chief was showing respect for the King.
But then, at a rally launching his election campaign, Mr Malema spoke flippantly about the King and about his custodianship of land under the Ingonyama Trust. He spoke distastefully about “holy cows”, as though his gift of cattle somehow bought him the right to treat the King with disdain.
With utter carelessness, Mr Malema announced that Government should take over the land held by the Ingonyama Trust.
This is a slap in the face to the Zulu Nation. In the present circumstances, when the issue of land and the Ingonyama Trust is so sensitive, his words are nothing less than incendiary.
He is clearly not concerned about the facts. Had he wanted to understand why the Trust was established, he could have asked the author of the Trust, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP. After all, they sit next to each other in Parliament, and their two parties work together in several municipalities.
We can assure Mr Malema that the King does not need his cattle. And the nation does not need his rabble-rousing.
Issued by IFP