BLF 'hate speech' accusations to be heard in Equality Court

Allegations of hate speech against Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama will be heard in the Equality Court.
Allegations of hate speech against Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama will be heard in the Equality Court.
Image: Masi Losi

The Equality Court sitting in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court will on Tuesday hear arguments on whether or not slogans chanted by Black First Land First (BLF) amounted to hate speech that incited violence against white people in South Africa.

The complaint was lodged by Lucy Strydom earlier last year. She also wants the Electoral Commission of SA to review the BLF's eligibility for registration as a political party.

Strydom said the BLF had the potential to influence public discourse and could not be allowed to continue to propagate its rhetoric of violence and death aimed at white people.

Strydom is represented by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which confirmed that the matter was going ahead from 9am on Tuesday.

“These slogans emanate from the apartheid era. The slogans at play are ‘Kill the farmer‚ kill the boer’‚ ‘Dubula Ibhunu’‚ 'One settler‚ one bullet’ [and] 'Land or death’‚” said Strydom.

She is pleading with the court to declare the statements as hate speech‚ on the basis of race.

Mngxitama last year denied that any BLF slogans amounted to hate speech or racism.

On Monday evening, the BLF said in a statement that the slogans were in response to the historic and current land dispossession.

"BLF regards this assault by the SAHRC as part of a well orchestrated campaign by white monopoly capital to ban BLF from representing the black oppressed in parliament," said the BLF in the statement.

BLF leader Andile Mngxitama last month found himself embroiled in another controversy about comments he made, which were labelled by many as hate speech.

At a rally in Potchefstroom in North West on December 8, Mngxitama urged his supporters to kill five white people for every one black person killed.

“You kill one of us, we will kill five of you. We will kill their women, we will kill their children, we will kill their dogs, we will kill their cats, we kill anything that comes for us,” said Mngxitama.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane at the time described Mngxitama’s remarks as a violation of human rights.

AfriForum also instructed its legal team to file court documents to lay a charge of hate speech against Mngxitama at the Equality Court.

On December 13, the SAHRC announced it had resolved to institute litigation on the Potchefstroom matter at the Equality Court. 

Source: TMG Digital 

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