Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema on Wednesday again issued a call to poor black South Africans to occupy unused land illegally

Speaking in Parliament during the presidency budget debate, Malema said he had initially told supporters to scale down land occupations after the ANC supported a move to expropriate land without compensation to end South Africa’s skewed land ownership patterns. The opposition leader said Ramaphosa had since made “wishy-washy” statements on the matter.

“Our people must continue to occupy land. This land belongs to us and if the ANC wants to kill our people for rightfully claiming their land, do so. You have done so in Marikana.,” Malema said, referring to the killing of 34 miners during the violent labour-related protest action at the Lonmin Mines in Marikana, outside Rustenburg.

Earlier Ramaphosa again urged South Africans to participate in talks around the thorny land issue after Parliament resolved, through the support of the majority of parties in the House, that the country would forge ahead with plans to expropriate land without compensation in a bid to ensure millions of black, landless South Africans are accommodated.

At the same time, Ramaphosa condemned land invasions, calling on municipalities and state-owned companies to release unused, urban land to stop the illegal occupation of land.