BLF faces Rupert company interdict against 'unlawful land invasion'

Cape Town - An application for a final interdict to keep Black First Land First (BLF) off L'Ormarins farms, owned by the Rupert family, was postponed in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday to give the party's members time to respond.

"Land thieves are interdicting us," BLF spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp said outside the court.

He said they did not know that they were supposed to be in court on Tuesday, and only found out about it when a journalist called them to ask for comment.

Maasdorp said the court postponed the matter until February 27 to give them time to prepare.

WATCH: Tense moments as BLF clash with cops outside Rupert's Remgro

The court papers cite BLF as the first respondent, its president Andile Mngxitama as the second respondent and member Ncedisa Mpemnyama as the third respondent.

The fourth respondent is "all members and persons who associate themselves with the conduct and aims of the first respondent".

The fifth respondent is "all persons threatening and/or intending to without consent enter onto or damage the property of the applicants known as Elandskloof, Villiersdorp, registration division Caledon".

Maasdorp said that at first glance, the order is so broad that it could even apply to farm workers who already live on those properties and who support BLF.

"We must get an understanding [of this case]," said Maasdorp.

In a statement sent to News24, L’Ormarins (Pty) Ltd said that, in the latter part of 2017, the company became concerned that BLF was considering an unlawful land invasion of farm properties, including L'Ormarins.

"As a precaution, the High Court was approached for an interim interdict late last year to prevent such invasion," it continued.

"The interim interdict was granted without opposition by BLF and its office bearers."

It was expected to have been made final on Tuesday.

In the meantime, BLF posted a message on its page on February 7 that it was pleased that fires had broken out on some of the farms owned by the Rupert family.

"We are excited by the news that fire has broken out in some of the farms currently illegally owned by the Rupert family. Black First Land First (BLF) believes that the fire is the retribution by our black God. The fire is just and welcomed."

BLF gave whites until December last year to decide how to return their land.

"But like the stubborn and arrogant pharaohs of the Bible, whites have responded with laughter at our call. We prayed to our black Gods to give us strength, unity and to punish those who stole our land. We prayed for draught and we prayed for fire upon the thieves (sic)."

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