EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL
EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL

EFF leader Julius Malema has warned that land must be returned to black people or things will get ugly.

He was speaking during an interview as part of a documentary by the Turkish Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation. Malema argued that‚ 24 years into democracy‚ "black people were worse off than they were under apartheid".

He said there would be war if land was not returned to black people. "If things are going the way they are‚ there will be a revolution in this country."

Imran Garda heads to South Africa to investigate plans for a radical new land reform that's threatening to divide the country along socioeconomic and racial lines. Imran meets with key players in the country's heated land debate - from ruling-party (ANC) officials, to white farmers who fear they're being targeted and the most vocal proponent of radical land reform, Julius Malema, the leader of a growing opposition movement called the Economic Freedom Fighters.

During the same documentary‚ Bernadette Hall‚ a Fochville farmer‚ said she believed there is genocide of white people.

However‚ various research organisations have debunked the claims of white genocide‚ and AgriSA recently said farm murders, which are regularly linked to genocide claims, were at their lowest level in 19 years. Hall said that if her land was taken away she would "fight tooth and nail" as it had been legally bought. "This is my country as much as everybody else’s," she said.

In an attempt to give clarity about expropriation of land without compensation‚ Malema said: "The state owns the land and then it gives it you on a long lease. In that way everyone else will have access to the land."

During the documentary‚ which was released at the weekend‚ Malema slammed claims that there was genocide of white people‚ labelling them cry babies‚ attention seekers and alarmists. He made reference to various cases in which black farmers were killed‚ saying that it would be an injustice to label the deaths as genocide against black people.

"We are concerned‚ even in the farms where black workers are killed. Should we be alarmist and say there is a genocide of black workers?"

He also emphasised that farm attacks were acts of crime.

Responding to a question on illegal land invasion, Malema said: "It’s not wrong‚ we are products of the land occupation. There’s no grabbing of the land it’s occupation‚ it’s our land.

"We cannot have our people living in congested areas‚ it creates health risks‚ it’s not conducive for children‚ it’s not good for human beings.

"There is enough land for everyone in the country."

Malema told the Turkish journalist that he was not yet calling for the slaughtering of white people.

"I am saying to you‚ not under my leadership will we call for the slaughter of white people. I don’t know who is coming after me. I will not speak for them‚ but they [white critics] are alarmist‚ they are cry babies. No one is going to slaughter them."