EFF to launch national land invasion campaign this week

EFFSTARTING this week‚ several hectares of vacant land around the country will be invaded and occupied by homeless people egged on by political activists wearing red berets.

The police will no doubt be in attendance.

The EFF’s provincial structures have all resolved to begin strategic occupations of land‚ following a call to action by their leader‚ Julius Malema‚ at the party’s first National People’s Assembly in Mangaung last year.

The call is based on the EFF’s “expropriation of land without compensation” policy. In recent months there have been invasions of land in Gauteng‚ the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal by people unhappy with the sluggish pace of land reform and the construction of government housing for the poor.

In the Eastern Cape, the party has instructed all of its regions to look for vacant land to occupy. EFF leader Simcelile Rubela said the party had also assisted people who had been evicted or arrested for occupying land.

“In Uitenhage‚ there was an eviction of community members and we are assisting them. There is a case in Nqamakwe which will be before the magistrate’s court in Nquma‚” he said.

Several towns‚ including Butterworth and East London‚ had a vast amount of vacant land.

“They tell the people that there is a game reserve there‚ but you don’t even see so much as a rabbit there‚” Rubela said.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the campaign risked encouraging communities to put strain on municipalities trying to cope with rapid urbanisation. Where informal settlements were founded‚ people demanded services.

“The authorities and law enforcement must deal with this decisively wherever they find it. Our Back To Basics policy was adopted precisely for dealing with migration and urbanisation … you can’t deal with it through illegal occupation.”

Political analyst Shadrack Gutto said the move underscored the need for the government to develop direct laws on land reform and restitution.

– BDlive

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