PRETORIA – EFF leader Julius Malema has warned of an "unled revolution" in South Africa, as black people "are worse off in democracy than they were under apartheid".
"If things are going the way they are, there will be a revolution in this country. There will be an unled revolution, and an unled revolution is the highest form of anarchy," Malema told the Turkish Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation.
The interview has made waves because of Malema's quotes that white people would not be slaughtered under his leadership, but that he could not "guarantee the future".
The interview is part of a 25-minute documentary produced by TRT World, and focuses on the heated debate about land expropriation without compensation. Malema warns that land must be returned to black people or things could turn "ugly" in the country.
"What type of freedom is this that, 24 years after freedom, we are worse off than where we were during apartheid? The people want their land, the people want their wealth, they want to own, but they are let down… that which I am putting on the table is the best offer to white people: let black people own their land," Malema said.
Parliament has initiated a constitutional review process to determine whether amendments are required to expropriate land without compensation. The EFF is pushing for all land to be owned by the state, with citizens being given long leases.
In the interview, Malema said he was hated because he pushed for equality between black and white people, but denied calling for the "slaughter of white people".
"I have never called for their killing, at least for now. I can't guarantee the future," he says.
When the TRT journalist pushes him on his comments, and asks if they are not tantamount to a call for genocide, Malema says he will "never call for the slaughter 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, they are attention seekers. No one is going to slaughter them," Malema said.
Malema goes on to say that farm attacks are part of the country's crime problem and not a genocide of white 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 asks.
In the documentary, the Turkish broadcaster speaks to various South Africans, including a white woman farmer who vows to fight tooth and nail to keep her land; a Diepsloot resident who says that black people are not treated equally to white people; Malema; EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu; and ANC national working committee member Ronald Lamola.
The EFF defends their call for people desperate for land to occupy unoccupied land. Malema dismisses criticism that they are violating the law.
"There is no grabbing of land, it is occupation, it's our land. We can't have 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 South Africa."
"We are using this unoccupied land as a way of demonstrating to the international world and to our government that we are serious about the issue of land. Please put the systems in place, expedite, otherwise it will become ugly."