Former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela has weighed in on the land debate, slamming the EFF approach of encouraging unlawful occupation of land.

The red berets leader, Julius  Malema, has found himself in some legal trouble, stemming from allegedly inciting land invasions when he told supporters to occupy any vacant land they so wish.

Speaking at a South African Local Government Association (Salga) seminar in Johannesburg, Madonsela said the EFF’s approach is encouraging a culture of lawlessness.

“What they don’t realise is that they are telling people that the law does not matter. Beyond taking the land, many people may start to ignore the law,” she said.

The party has been one of the main drivers behind the amendment of section 25 of the constitution in order to allow land expropriation without compensation and, although Madonsela agrees with the necessity of land reform, she feels it should not be done at the expense of the supreme law of the country.

“I think the land must be shared by all and the process of land redistribution, restitution and tenure reform must be expedited. However, that should not be done in defiance of the Constitution. Our leaders are asking people to spit on the Constitution we will come to regret it.”

Madonsela said the illegal approach endorsed by the EFF runs the risk of not being limited only to land, but could also seep into other avenues.

“That message is not only sent to those who want to take the land, but others to say protect yourselves illegally as well. So you are creating a lawless society unintentionally and also dividing the people, but for what? For votes?”

Malema is set to appear in court again in February next year, after his case for allegedly inciting illegal land occupation was postponed last month.