The impassioned speech by Mosiuoa ‘Terror’ Lekota in Parliament on Tuesday, calling on the Members of Parliament – regardless of race or party membership – to speak up against those who say words which “make South Africans kill each other”, has gone viral.
Lekota is being heralded as the ‘voice of reason’ and – thanks to a YouTube video of his speech being shared on Reddit – people around the world are listening and commenting on him being “a pretty smart dude”.
During the debate on farm murders and farm attacks in South Africa, the COPE leader said there are 35,000 farmers who provide food for 90% of the population; and that as we reduce the number of those “for any number of reasons”, the food becomes more expensive… and that it is then the poor who suffer “more than those of us sitting in this House”.
He reminded MPs that they are elected leaders and should not break the law or mislead their people into attacking each other.
He referred to President Jacob Zuma’s announcement that there would be land retribution without compensation, and to Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s swearing at certain sectors that they must ‘pasop‘ (beware) once he gets in power.
Lekota said MPs must stand up when people like the President say things in conflict with the Constitution, or Malema says things that are threatening.
“Men and women of backbone must speak so that our children are not misled, so that generations to come don’t slaughter each other as the Tutsi and the Hutu slaughtered each other in the case of Ruanda.”
He said the members of Parliament are old enough to know what can happen, and it is their responsibility to ensure it does not.
The social media user who shared Lekota’s video titled it: “Holy sh*t this opening statement by Terror Lekota on the farm issue really sums up the farm issue.”
Others said Lekota is the kind of person South Africa needs in parliament, and he was praised for not inciting racial hatred.
Lekota was a member of the African National Congress (ANC) until President Thabo Mbeki resigned in 2008, after which he formed a breakaway faction named the Congress of the People (COPE). His nickname ‘Terror’ comes from his soccer style and not his politics!