Johannesburg — AfriForum Youth laid a charge of intimidation against ANC Youth League deputy president Ronald Lamola on Wednesday over comments he made about land reform.
"AfriForum Youth hopes to achieve justice with this charge against Ronald Lamola, because statements that instigate hatred have a ripple effect on communities and sow further division," spokesman Charl Oberholzer said in a statement.
The charge of intimidation was laid at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria and a case number would be issued soon, Oberholzer said.
Brooklyn police station spokeswoman Warrant Officer Annabelle Middleton confirmed that a charge had been laid and that it had been referred to the Lyttelton police station.
On Tuesday, Lamola called for the Constitution to be changed to allow the expropriation of land without compensation.
He warned that if white South Africans did not hand over land to poor blacks, there could be land invasions like those that took place in Zimbabwe.
He was briefing the media at the St George's Hotel in Irene, Pretoria, following an African National Congress Youth League policy workshop, ahead of the ANC's policy conference later this month.
Oberholzer said the ANCYL did not belong in South Africa if it made such statements.
"Not only are such statements criminal, but they are also immoral and racist," he said
AfriForum said it would also lay criminal charges against Lamola and take the matter to the Equality Court.
AfriForum's legal representative Willie Spies said Lamola's comments amounted to hate speech and fell within the definition of incitement to violence.
Spies said Lamola specifically referred to "the Van Tonders and the Van der Merwes on farms" and warned that their safety could not be guaranteed.
The agricultural union TAU-SA said it was "disgusted" by Lamola's comments and would file a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission.
"TAU-SA has instructed its legal team to start with the strongest possible measures against Lamola, the ANCYL, the ANC and its president."
ANCYL spokeswoman Magdalene Moonsamy said the groups needed to be "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.
The ANCYL later issued a statement calling AfriForum "the defender of white privilege".
"We reaffirm the statement made by [Lamola] that those who continue to hold land which was illegally and immorally taken away from the indigenous people of South Africa must voluntarily co-operate with the ANC-led government [to] ensure swift and equitable redistribution of such land to the masses of our people."
The ANCYL again warned that it might not be able to stem the impatience of millions of landless South Africans.
"Such a precautionary note raising the hopeless plight of our people, blacks in general and Africans in particular, can only be construed as an incitement to violence... by those hell-bent to protect white minority privilege at the expense of the black majority."
The Democratic Alliance called on the government to reject the ANCYL's calls for changes to the Constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation.
"It must declare its support of the constitutionally enshrined assurance of security of tenure and protection of private property rights," DA MP Athol Trollip said in a statement.
He said calls for expropriation undermined the government's efforts to attract investment, to grow the economy and to create jobs.
Trollip said it was repugnant that Lamola's comments were given any publicity.
"Lamola's specific reference to the 'Van Tonders and Van der Merwes' having to hand over their land is tantamount to a declaration of 'war' based on ethnicity," Trollip said.