BLF in court for ‘hate speech’ against whites

The Black First Land First (BLF) party was hauled to the Equality Court on July 18, 2018.
The Black First Land First (BLF) party was hauled to the Equality Court on July 18, 2018.
Image: Gulshan Khan / AFP

A woman who is taking Black First Land First (BLF) to the Equality Court for alleged hate speech wants the Independent Electoral Commission to review the organisation’s eligibility for registration as a political party.

Lucy 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.

She is being represented by the South African Human Rights Commission.

A pretrial hearing on the matter was heard at the Equality Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Strydom said she was also seeking an order that her complaint be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions with a view to instituting criminal proceedings against BLF leader Andile Mngxitama.

Strydom listed slogans chanted by the BLF which she argued amounted to hate speech that incited violence against white people.

“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’‚” Strydom said. She is pleading with the court to declare the statements as hate speech‚ on the basis of race.

Strydom said such utterances ignited fear in her as a white person living in the country.

She is requesting that Mngxitama be fined R150‚000‚ which she suggested should go to an organisation promoting racial cohesion.

In its response, BLF accused the commission of supporting white interests and of being part of a conspiracy to block it from participating in the 2019 national elections.

In its responding papers‚ the BLF denied any wrongdoing and said the accusations made by Strydom were unfounded.

“I deny that any slogan of BLF amounts to racism or hate speech,” Mngxitama said.

The case was postponed to September 20.

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