Crowds gathered in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape on Wednesday ahead of an EFF picket at business mogul Johann Rupert’s farms.
Minibus taxis dropped throngs of people wearing EFF regalia a few kilometres from the CBD. Party leader Julius Malema was greeted by singing, cheering and ululating when he arrived to address the crowd before the march.
The EFF said the march coincides with the day “land thief Jan van Riebeeck landed on our shores” in 1652. EFF spokesperson Sinawo Tambo told journalists Van Riebeeck’s arrival had left Africans destitute.
“Our people are living on top of each other in squatter camps. People are unemployed and subjected to menial labour such as being gardeners and security guards and we are treated like subhumans on our own land,” he said.
“The consequences of that day, April 6, are still being felt today. The biggest benefactor of that is Johann Rupert, who is an oligarch who controls the economic, political and mineral reality of our country.
“We have to confront him and say we want our land back. We say we want to know all offshore accounts which are evading tax and taking our wealth.EFF spokesperson Sinawo Tambo said the party wants businessman Johann Rupert to reveal his offshore business accounts.
Image: Philani Nombembe
“All those monies must come back to SA. Any money held in foreign accounts that is based on the land, labour and mineral resources of SA must be returned to contribute to the developmental trajectory to which we aspire.”
Tambo said Malema would lead the marchers to Rupert’s company, Remgro, in Stellenbosch while deputy president Floyd Shivambu would lead a march to Leopard Creek, a golf estate owned by Rupert in Mpumalanga.
Tambo said the EFF wanted to show Rupert “we know where our land is, we know where you are located”.
Tambo said the EFF had dealt with the issue of land expropriation without compensation in parliament.
“The next step will be to take our land by any means necessary.”
While an events company set up a stage and tent, a heavy police contingent was also building.