Lamola calls for land expropriation

AfriForum charged Ronald Lamola with hate speech for making controversial comments.

ANCYL Deputy President Ronald Lamola at the Cosatu march.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) Deputy Leader Ronald Lamola said he was merely making a legitimate political comment, when he said government might not be able to protect white farmers who refused to give up their land.

Civil group AfriForum on Wednesday charged Lamola with hate speech for making the comments.

Lamola said that service delivery protests could turn into land invasions and government might not be able to protect white farmers.

In his defence, Lamola said he was merely making a normal political comment, and that AfriForum need to understand what was happening in the country.

"They must be scared of youth unemployment; they must be scared of the landless people."

But AfriForum's Charl Oberholzer said the comments was definitely constituted as hate speech.

"It is clear that they have given up on reconciliation."

He demanded the comments be declared illegal.

On Tuesday, Lamola called for the Constitution to be altered to allow land expropriation without compensation.

He warned that if land was not given to the poor black people by white South Africans, the result might be land invasions.

Lamola had specifically referred to, "the Van Tonders and the Van der Merwes on farms", warning that their safety cannot be guaranteed.

ANCYL spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy said the ANCYL and farmers needed to "get ready for the fight of their lives".

"We welcome this battle and we will not retreat. We are adamant that this issue of land cannot be negotiated and at no point will we back down," she said.

Government has distanced itself from the comments made by ANCYL saying the threat of land invasions are solely from the youth league.

Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Lechesa Tsenoli said the youth league was militant, but must still convince the ANC of its stance.

"Until that decision is taken, it should really not be seen as something that is likely to happen."