The Economic Freedom Fighters marks the 363 year anniversary of the arrival of Jan Van Riebeeck in South Africa, and thus the beginning of European destruction in the continent. This day has been recognised since 1952 as an official holiday by the successive white minority governments to celebrate Jan Van Reibeeck as a founder of South Africa thus his statue was created, which remains standing in Adderley Street, Cape Town to this day.
The EFF recognises this day as an important reminder of land theft and dispossession by Europeans whose claim to the land was on the basis that our people could not provide written proof that it belonged to them. This was Van Riebeeck’s idea and justification for taking land from the Khoi and the San people who from 1659 begun wars of resistance which would last centuries fighting to restore their land.
The EFF recognises that Van Riebeeck who led a group of convicted criminals to settle in our land, whose punishment for the crimes they committed in their own country was to sail for new shores for the establishment of a refreshment station. The first generation of white settlers, being convicted criminals, were therefore to embark of even greater crimes against humanity, setting the stage for colonisation and apartheid.
After 363 years since the arrival of Van Riebeeck and his criminal platoon, the majority of black South Africans, in particular African people remain landless, hungry and homeless in their own country. After 21 years since the democratic government cancelled 6 April as an official holiday celebrating Van Riebeeck as a founder, and ultimately all founders of South Africa as a white settler colony, land which Van Riebeeck took from our people remains in the hands of white people.
The South African democratic government may have cancelled the official celebration of this holiday, but until land is restored to its rightful owners, the brutal legacy of 6 April lives on. The day was also chosen to execute the revolutionary Solonom “Kalushi” Mahlangu in 1979. The apartheid government deliberately chose his execution to coincide with the 327th anniversary of Jan van Riebeck’s arrival at the Cape in 1652. In essence to further entrench the idea that those who fight for the restoration of land to Africans will die as Solomon “Kalushi” Mahlangu did.
Solomon “Kalushi” Mahlangu and many generations of freedom fighters fought for the idea that land must be restored to the people. They sacrificed their lives to undo a South Africa started by Van Riebeeck and his platoon of criminals; a white minority dominated South Africa, an oppressive South Africa where blacks are landless, and as a result depend on whites for their livelihood.
The EFF calls on all homeless people to identify open and unoccupied land wherever they choose and engage on the struggle to restore their land. Furthermore, we call on the Statue of Jan Van Riebeeck, together with his family to fall as it represents the idea that our people cannot have claim to a land they have lived in for millenniums.
May the spirit of Solomon “Kalushi” Mahlangu live on and may his dying words that his “blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the fight” come to pass. EFF contuse the fight, betrayed by the liberation movement which not devours the fruits of freedom at the expense of the people. The EFF has taken Kalushi’s spear and will continue the fight until land is fully restored and the fruits of freedom benefit all our people.
Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters