BLF threatens to take up arms if IEC deregisters the party over alleged hate speech

2018-12-11 20:23
Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama (Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images)

Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama (Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images)

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Black First Land First (BLF) president Andile Mngxitama has threatened an "arm struggle" should the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) deregister his party over his alleged hate speech.

He said that comments he made over the weekend in Ikageng in the North West encouraging his supporters to kill white people were merely a defence against recent statements made by billionaire Johann Rupert, which he interpreted as an "incitement to violence" against black people.

Mngxitama said that he would be laying charges of inciting violence against Rupert.

In a recent interview with Power FM's Given Mkhari at the second annual Chairman's Conversation, Rupert warned that he had "friends in the taxi industry" who he referred to as his "own army".

Over the weekend Mngxitama urged his members to "kill five white people for every one black person that dies because of taxi violence" as a form of retaliation should Rupert's "army" go up against black people.

On Tuesday, he stood by his words and said "white people" who have no intention of killing black people should not be worried.

READ: BLF leader in hot water over 'kill whites' comments

In a tweet on Monday, the IEC said it noted the "serious allegations against the BLF's leader".

"The commission will offer the party an opportunity to clarify its statements in the light of the values of the Constitution. We will assess the matter for an appropriate course of action after receiving a response."

Words 'taken out of context'

Mngxitama says his comments were justified, and does not see any reason why the IEC would deregister his party and give in to calls to not allow it to participate in the coming elections.

Trade union Solidarity has already requested that the IEC not allow the BLF to participate in the 2019 elections, while the DA has laid a complaint of "incitement to violence" with the police in Potchefstroom.

Mngxitama said that his words had been taken out of context and explained that he had only called for black people to defend themselves.

READ: Law society condemns attack on female advocate

"It is the responsibility of the media to ensure that messages are not distorted, and are not misquoted," he said.

Mngxitama also announced that his party had asked Zimbabwe's war veterans to train his party members, seemingly gearing up for war.

He said the training would be in response to "militia white camps" aimed at "killing to protect the land".

"We are also willing to kill to get the land back, and if needs be, die for it," Mngxitama said.

He did not indicate where these camps are located. 

Ramaphosa, Malema 'united' in land expropriation deception

Mngxitama also accused the ANC and the EFF of being disingenuous and using the issue of land expropriation without compensation as an electioneering slogan. He said it was clear to him that no land would be given back to those who had it stolen from them.

"Cyril Ramaphosa and Julius Malema are united in deceiving our people," he said.

"If the EFF manages to persuade the ANC to amend the Constitution on land and execute the plan before elections, I'll ask for forgiveness from Malema, and I will shave off my beard and hair."

He said that the BLF had identified farms owned by white people that it would expropriate itself.

"We will not spare Johann Rupert, we know how many farms he has and we will be going to occupy them."

Rupert has at least 10 restraining orders against the BLF in an effort to halt occupation on various properties.

'We are going to Parliament'

Mngxitama said these would not deter his party members.

The BLF also indicated that it had no money, but assured its members it would raise the R600 000 needed for an IEC deposit to book the party's place on the ballot and contest the 2019 elections.

"We are going to Parliament. Our people want us there, and we are going," Mngxitama said.

"I am happy to report that we so far have R200 000, and even if they were to call for elections tomorrow, we will have enough to at least contest the national elections.

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