There are no holy cows when it comes to land questions, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said on Thursday.
He spoke out against some of the backlash he received from some quarters of society since a historic motion to amend the Constitution for the expropriation of land without compensation was passed in the National Assembly last month. The motion was put on the agenda by the EFF and then amended and supported by the African National Congress (ANC).
Malema said it was not a call for war but instead a debate, and that those who disagreed were more than welcome to put their views forward but would have to convince the EFF, ANC and the National Assembly.
"We called for engagement. Why should the response be 'leave what you are doing otherwise you will meet the unexpected'?" asked Malema.
He said the EFF wanted peaceful engagements on the matter.
The EFF's proposal could see all land in the country falling under State control, which has been rejected by some, including Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.
'Let's not beat war drums'
"No army will go against the Zulu people, no police will go after the Zulu people. The Zulu king must be aware that anything that puts blacks against blacks will lead to black on black violence," warned the leader.
Zwelithini said his nation would defend its right to the land which it has inherited. He also urged the government to refrain from discussing the expropriation of land which falls under the Ingonyama Trust, of which he is the sole trustee.
"Let's not talk war, let's not beat war drums. Let's come up with superior arguments on why it should not be done like that," said Malema.
He said if the land currently under kings and chiefs was meant to benefit the people, then the State could continue in that role.
Malema also defended his right to disagree with the Zulu king's view on the issue.
"We love the Zulu king... but disagree with him. There are no holy cows in this country, we must debate issues openly, including disagreeing with the Zulu king," said the EFF leader.
Black people 'not vengeful'
He added that democracy meant never being fearful when it came to airing views.
"Anything which seeks to instil fear is undemocratic and should never be celebrated," he said.
Regarding the threatening posture adopted by the Zulu king, Malema said he didn't understand why the Ingonyama Trust was worried about the expropriation of land.
"I understand why the Afrikaners are panicking, they know what they did to black people. Ingonyama Trust has no reason to panic. The Afrikaners have the blood of innocent people on their hands, they think we want revenge," he said, adding that black people in South Africa were not vengeful.
Malema remained resolute on the EFF's decision to help the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay push out Democratic Alliance (DA) Mayor Athol Trollip. He said Tshwane's Solly Msimanga and City of Joburg's Herman Mashaba would not be affected as they did not form part of the DA's national leadership which took a decision not to support land expropriation without compensation when the motion was raised.
"The decision not to support expropriation has everything to do with perpetuating white privilege, the defence of white benefits and privileges. It has everything else to do with the continuation of black suffering, the continuation of inequality in South Africa," said Malema.
DA gives nothing, it gets nothing
Trollip must know the decisions he makes in federal council have political and personal consequences, added the EFF leader.
He said the party had already asked for a special sitting for April 6, where it was willing to support the ANC if it made former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas its mayoral candidate.
Malema said the DA needed to understand that politics was a game of give and take.
"We are not in some church here, we are in politics. It's about give and take. The DA is not prepared to give anything, it shall not take anything," said Malema.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane recently used "madness" and "insane" to describe the EFF's intended actions over Trollip.
"Now, friends, I can't explain that thinking to you. It is madness. It is insane. But people must ask them what they are thinking. And they must explain to the voters and the residents of Nelson Mandela Bay why they are handing the city back to the corrupt ANC," he said at the party's Mpumalanga congress in Secunda at the weekend.