BLF to endorse 'Black Consciousness' parties

2016-07-30 19:31
IEC voting station. (Elmarie Jack, News24)

Cape Town - EFF breakaway Black First Land First (BLF) has decided to throw its weight behind any political party that supports Black Consciousness and Pan-Africanism, starting with Orlando East independent candidate Seth Mazibuko.

"We are going to endorse parties and candidates which are within the Azanian school of thought," national spokesperson Zanele Lwana said on Saturday.

In the days leading up to the August 3 municipal elections, the BLF would campaign for Mazibuko, and would reach out to parties such as the Pan Africanist Congress and the Azanian People's Organisation.

BLF had intended contesting the elections, but its registration was rejected because a legally required advertisement with the party's logo and party colours had not run its course in the Government Gazette when the election date was proclaimed.

BLF was formed after some Economic Freedom Fighters members, including Andile Mngxitama,were expelled last year for criticising the party co-founded by Julius Malema.

A condition for being endorsed by BLF is to sign the Sankarist oath. Lwana explained that the oath, named after Burkino Faso revolutionary and Pan-Africanist Thomas Sankara, commits councillors to work only for the good of the people and not for their own financial interests.

"Some people become councillors for the salary, to ensure their financial freedom," she said.

They chose Mazibuko because he was instrumental in the Soweto 1976 uprising and was committed to Black Consciousness values. 

Mazibuko said he signed the oath on Saturday.

"We serve the public, we are not served by the public," said Mazibuko, who will stand for wards 30 and 31.

Mazibuko is known as an activist associated with the Orandlo Task Team (OTT) which demands proper consultation and accountability over community affairs, such as the controversial installation of water meters, housing, and land use.

He also wants proper housing in the suburb, and support for the area's grandmothers, one of whom expects to be evicted on Monday.

The suburb is the oldest in Soweto and contains numerous heritage sites, including the spot where Robert Sobukwe burnt his pass in protest over apartheid's laws restricting the movement of black people.

The ANC took 85.67% of the vote in Ward 30 in the 2011 municipal elections, and 85.33% in Ward 31.

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