‘Go Build Your Shacks Next To Malema’s House In Sandton’

In the debate about Soweto residents fighting off land grabbers in Protea Glen, some have laid the blame at the feet of the EFF leader.

The recent conflict in Protea Glen in Soweto has shone a spotlight on the land policies of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), after their leader has spent years telling his supporters to occupy any and all vacant land they may take a fancy to.

Julius Malema is currently facing prosecution on these comments under the Riotous Assemblies Act, which he is challenging on the basis that he believes it to be an outdated piece of apartheid-era legislation.

He and his party have called for all land in South Africa to be nationalised and placed under the custodianship of the state. They particularly want land to be expropriated without compensation from what they have termed illegitimate white colonialist settlers.

However, in what may be a case of reality meeting rhetoric, many on social media couldn’t help but notice that those opposed to the latest round of “land grabs” in Protea Glen on Monday were other black Soweto residents.

Yesterday, Protea Glen became an unlikely battleground in the fight for land as the invaders clashed with the established residents, who barricaded roads after another group from outside the area attempted to occupy vacant land in the area.

The residents were apparently concerned that if new shacks went up right next to them, it would affect their property values. The old principle of “not in my backyard” was very much in play, and police had to fire rubber bullets to attempt to control the volatile situation.

On Twitter, some users laid the blame at Malema’s feet, saying it was all very well for him to call for illegal land occupation when he was allegedly living in luxury in the suburbs.

By:  Charles Cilliers/The Citizen