EFF supporters. File picture: ROGAN WARD
EFF supporters. File picture: ROGAN WARD

The EFF in Gauteng have taken responsibility for recent land invasions and have challenged President Cyril Ramaphosa to engage his law enforcement agencies.

This follows land invasions in Tshwane and Johannesburg‚ which sparked widespread criticism from provincial government and metros.

EFF officials told TimesLIVE that the party would continue occupying land. "The EFF has a permanent land occupation programme, which everyone should be fully conversant with. So we are continuing with land occupation in the business-as-usual manner we have been pursuing since the formation of the EFF in 2013‚" said Mandisa Mashego‚ EFF chairperson in Gauteng.

"This land occupation programme speaks directly to our first EFF cardinal pillar and policy position. We revere and honour it as our pillar of strength and bedrock of all our other policy statements that‚ if pursued vigorously or fearlessly‚ economic freedom in our lifetime will become real. The programme of land occupation was adopted as an EFF programme at the EFF’s very first National Assembly in December 2014."

Ramaphosa has said no one has a right to invade land and it is a clear sign of disorder and violation of the law. The President was responding to a land grab that took place in Olievenhoutbosch in the City of Tshwane. He warned that transgressors would feel the full might of the law.

The head of the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements Matilda Gasela called on law enforcement to take the necessary steps against those who are breaking the law. "The department is concerned that there are criminal elements within the community who continuously mislead the community. We call on law enforcement agencies to take strong action against them."

But the EFF is not backing down. "The EFF structures and branches lead all‚ if not most‚ land occupation programmes in Gauteng. Any land occupation in and around Tshwane is no exception. We do not take kindly to Ramaphosa’s threats of action against our people’s programme‚" said Mashego.

"The last time Ramaphosa mentioned concomitant action, a mass murder of workers by the South African Police Service, led by the ANC government‚ happened horrendously in Marikana. So we are fully aware that Ramaphosa’s action — threats — may very well be deadly and our people will be on the lookout."