FF Plus goes to court to have 'blacks-only' BLF deregistered for elections

2019-03-18 16:51
Leader of the Freedom Front Plus Pieter Groenewald. (Jan Gerber, News24)

Leader of the Freedom Front Plus Pieter Groenewald. (Jan Gerber, News24)

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The FF Plus on Monday lodged court papers with the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein, arguing that the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) erred in registering Black First Land First (BLF) as a political party, as the organisation's constitution states that only black people can be members.

"South Africa's Constitution states in section 1 that the South African state is based on four core values, of which non-racialism is one. This makes it clear that the IEC has made a big mistake. The FF Plus asks the court to rectify this error," FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said.

"Nobody in South Africa, or even the world, is above the law," said Groenewald, adding that South Africa had good laws, but they weren't properly implemented.

The FF Plus brought an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act to obtain the BLF's constitution from the IEC. 

"This will succeed, we will make sure of this," said FF Plus MP Wouter Wessels. "We are not the racist organisation."

BLF leader Andile Mngxitama responded on Twitter.

"The racist organisation of land thieves @VFPlus has made racist threats about taking action against @BLF_SouthAfrica today. We say bring it on boer seuntjies," Mngxitama tweeted.

"We will bring it on. We will bring it on in terms of the law," Wessels responded.

He said that is what the party's election slogan, "fight back", meant. 

"We will not allow lawlessness."

Wessels said the FF Plus was not a whites-only organisation.

"We say South Africa should be unified in our diversity."

The media then questioned the FF Plus on its own inclusivity and commitment to the Constitution. 

Groenewald said any South African citizen older than 16 years could join the party if they supported its founding principles. 

Wessels said the FF Plus' manifesto brought solutions that would make it possible to get rid of racial classification, black economic empowerment and racial quotas.

He said the party's policies, which provide for the self-determination of groups, would "restore unity in diversity".

Asked if the party did not share similarities with the BLF – a party for one group of people – Groenewald said: "We're just the opposite."

He said nowhere in the party's constitution did it state that it was just for white people.

"We have councillors who are not white people, they are brown people."

He said in the 2016 municipal elections the party had two black candidates. He conceded that the party did not support the Constitution at its adoption in 1996, because it "saw some flaws".

Groenewald said one of the things in the Constitution the party does not agree with is that it allows discrimination. 

"I understand there may be some perceptions about the FF Plus. But are those perceptions correct?"

He said the party did not apologise for "standing up for Afrikaners" and that it supports self-determination and minority rights.

"What we are experiencing in South Africa today is the tyranny of the majority [against] minorities."

However, Groenewald added: "We are law-abiding citizens and we are a law-abiding organisation."

FF Plus MP Corné Mulder pointed out that the party did not support the adoption of the Constitution, but it did not vote against it, its members abstained.

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Read more on:    blf  |  ff plus  |  iec  |  pieter groenewald  |  andile mngxitama  |  politics
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