South Africa

Race non-Relations

‘It’s Rupert’s fault’: BLF doubles down on threat of violence against white South Africans

Black Land First (BLF) members led by Andile Mngxitama and Zanele Lwaini protest outside MiWay Insurance headquarters following an allegedly fake email scandal on July 21, 2017 in Centurion, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius)

Black First Land First hosted a press conference on Tuesday 11 November to clarify controversial recent comments by its president Andile Mngxitama, who at the launch of the party’s 2019 election campaign called for violence against white South Africans.

It was a game of political trickery as Black First Land First (BLF) President Andile Mngxitama attempted to defend his comment that for every one black person killed, his party would kill five white people, a statement condemned as hate speech by the Democratic Alliance and AfriForum.

And although Mngxitama stands by comments he made during the Potchefstroom launch of his party’s election campaign, he argues that they must be understood in the context of recent comments made by Johann Rupert. In a radio interview on PowerFM, Rupert referred to his connections in a taxi association, who would defend his interests as “his little army” against the red berets (EFF).

And it was this statement, says Mngxitama, that led him to declare his ratio of one to five.

BLF is a peaceful movement, which is peaceful with those who are peaceful with us,” said Mngxitama.

Mngxitama went on to accuse Rupert of using the taxi industry as “his own private militia” and for inciting black-on-black violence similar to the fight between the Inkatha Freedom Party and the African National Congress in the ’90s.

Is the violence in the taxi industry sponsored by Johan Rupert?” asked Mngxitama.

The Democratic Alliance has opened a case against Mngxitama at the SAPS in Potchefstroom, for what they consider to be “racially charged calls inciting violence against white South Africans” that he made during a rally at Ikageng Stadium.

Furthermore, the DA has also reported Mngxitama to the South African Human Rights Commission and the Equality Court.

According to DA premier candidate in North West Joe McGluwa, Mngxitama’s dangerous rhetoric must be “condemned and rejected in the strongest terms, and the relevant authorities have a duty to act against Mngxitama and his pseudo-revolutionary grouping”.

Mngxitama doubled down on his comments, and, to show BLF is serious, said the party had identified farms belonging to Rupert in Stellenbosch which they planned to expropriate in the coming months.

There are 10 high court interdicts by Rupert on the BLF. But we have identified some farms [of Rupert’s] in Stellenbosch to expropriate,” said Mngxitama.

The BLF leader also lambasted the SA Human Rights Commission CEO Advocate Tseliso Thipanyane for running an organisation that stifled the opinions of black people.

His work is to make sure that racists go against black people,” said Mngxitama.

This comment was made in the light of a case the commission is pursuing against the BLF after “a white woman reported to the commission that she feels threatened by what is written on BLF T-shirts”.

AfriForum has also pursued charges against Mngxitama at the Equality Court for “unfair discrimination”, and a “referral for criminal prosecution”.

In light of all the charges laid against him, Mngxitama says his party has approached Zimbabwean military veterans to train members of the BLF’s Radical Economic Transformation army.

White people have their own military bases, train themselves for self-defence, we too have a right to train for self-defence,” said Mngxitama. DM

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