BLF wine farm interdict hearing postponed

2018-02-27 19:49
Black First Land First activists Lindsay Maasdorp, Ncedisa Mpemnyama and Athi Bam outside the Western Cape High Court (Jenni Evans, News24)

Black First Land First activists Lindsay Maasdorp, Ncedisa Mpemnyama and Athi Bam outside the Western Cape High Court (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - An interdict application, lodged in an attempt to keep Black First Land First (BLF) off properties and wine farms owned by businessman Johann Rupert, was postponed by the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

"The judge ruled that it be postponed to April 10 because all the listed people haven't seen the document," BLF spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp said outside the court.

The Rupert family's lawyers applied for the interdict late in 2017 on the grounds that BLF was allegedly considering an unlawful land invasion of farms including L'Ormarins, a popular wine farm.

"As a precaution, the High Court was approached for an interim interdict late last year to prevent such invasion," the company explained in a statement released earlier in February.

BLF and its office bearers did not oppose the application. It was supposed to be made final on February 14.

However, BLF secured an extension so that they could prepare a response.

They represented themselves, dressed in their BLF T-shirts and trousers.

The BLF was formed by Andile Mngxitama in 2015 after a break away from the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Maasdorp said the court papers would be taken to the BLF's central committee in Gauteng for its political leadership to see them. From there, they would be distributed among those named in them.

The court papers cite BLF as the first respondent, its president Mngxitama as the second respondent and member Ncedisa Mpemnyama as the third respondent. The farm was eventually taken over by his brother Johann in 2003, and the brand named after him, the company's website said.

BLF frequently claims that opponents of former president Jacob Zuma were taking direct orders from Rupert to protect white capital.

Their main lobbying point is that land owned by the white people should be given to landless black people.

The fourth respondent in the case 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 believes the interim order granted is so broad that it could even apply to farm workers who already live on those properties and who support BLF.

He said that, even if the interdict is successful, the greater movement to reclaiming land will not stop, as protests over landlessness and housing continue.

"No interdict, no jail or grave will stop us from taking land," vowed Maasdorp.

Read more on:    blf  |  cape town  |  land expropriation  |  land

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