Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma remained quiet while ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema told an election rally over the weekend that white people should be treated like criminals for stealing land from black people.
It was left to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to put out the fires on Sunday.
He told an ANC meeting on the East Rand that one couldn’t generalise and say all white people were criminals.
Motlanthe said Malema’s statements were based on “wrong logic”.
“It can’t be correct to generalise like that. It is not scientific or healing.”
He added that the ANC is non-racial.
At an election rally in Kimberley in Zuma’s presence on Saturday, Malema said: “We have to take the land without payment, because the whites took our land without paying and transformed them into game farms. The system of willing seller, willing buyer has failed.”
“We all agree they stole the land. They are criminals, they should be treated like that.”
To loud applause, Malema said it took too long for land to be handed over to black people.
On economic empowerment he said: “The money is in the hands of only 10% of the population who are handling about 90% of the wealth in the country.
“The money is in the hands of the Oppenheimers. The Oppenheimers took our minerals. Galeshewe hasn’t shared in the bounty of the diamond mines.”
Malema also said poverty is a crisis, and employment has to be created.
He added that the “madam” would never become the country’s president as long as they were alive, as she was not a freedom fighter.
Malema said the IFP was a cultural group and not a political party.
“Then there is a Cope 1 and Cope 2. The party is dead because its organisation has collapsed.”
Zuma, in his role as ANC leader, then addressed the crowd with a less dramatic explanation about the ANC’s history. He ended the proceedings cheerfully with the request to bring his machine gun.
John Block, the controversial leader of the ANC in the Northern Cape, who was the master of ceremonies, said: “We are no longer Bantus, kaffirs or slaves.”