Johannesburg Bar council member victim of 'vicious racial attack' by BLF members

2018-12-07 22:01

A Johannesburg Bar council member has become the victim of a "vicious racial attack" at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, the council said on Friday.

The council condemned the attack that was allegedly carried out against the woman by people wearing Black First Land First (BLF) T-shirts.

The incident occurred on Wednesday in the foyer of the court, the council said in a statement.

"The attackers were wearing Black First Land First (BLF) T-shirts and were, immediately prior to the attack, engaged in a protest outside of court. The Johannesburg Bar council condemns this attack in the strongest terms," read the statement.

WATCH: WATCH: Bouncers expel BLF activists after they lunge at Nicky Oppenheimer in Parliament

The council said it would work closely with the member concerned and police to identify the perpetrators "in order to hold them accountable for their conduct".

"At a systemic level, it is of immense concern that this attack occurred within the court building and that the security arrangements in place appear to be wholly inadequate. The attack is also a part of a growing pattern of criminal activity perpetrated in and around the court precinct which has seen practitioners and judges being mugged and robbed," said the council.

The council was considering a number of interventions, including litigation, to address this situation urgently.

"It is imperative that all necessary steps are taken to ensure the safety of legal practitioners, judges and members of the public who attend court".

BLF members 'responded as expected'

Gauteng police told News24 that they had no information on the attack.

"I have checked with my colleagues in Johannesburg Central (police station) and they are not aware of such an incident," said police spokesperson Captain Mvela Masondo.

Meanwhile, BLF president Andile Mngxitama told News24 that he was aware of the incident, and took "full responsibility" for the actions of his members.

"Our members were provoked by a racist, and they responded as expected," Mngxitama said.

READ: BLF wants 'all the land in white hands'

Mngxitama also indicated to News24 that his movement would be planning ways in which to occupy farms belonging to controversial billionaire Johann Rupert, who he labelled arrogant.

This follows Rupert's assertions during an interview with media mogul Given Mkhari at the second annual Chairman's Conversation on Wednesday.

Mngxitama said he understands that Rupert has at least 10 restraining orders against the BLF, but said these would not "deter" the movement's plan to occupy land owned by Rupert.

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