Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama has hit back at “all the organisations of land thieves” that were celebrating Monday’s announcement by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) that the party’s registration had been annulled.
The IEC ruled in favour of an appeal lodged against the registration of the BLF by the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) on the grounds that the BLF excluded membership on the basis of race.
The IEC had previously defended its original decision to approve the BLF’s registration in 2016 as it said the party’s constitution did not clearly exclude white people from membership. But Mngxitama, in his response to the appeal, clarified that his party intended to exclude white membership.
“We don’t have white people here. We don’t accept white people. We are open about it, even when we submitted our registration, that we don’t accept white people,” said Mngxitama earlier this year as he was registering his party.
Its registration was annulled as a result.
“The registration of the BLF as a party is unlawful on the grounds that it was prohibited under section 16(1)(c)(ii) of the ECA and is invalid,” said the IEC in a statement.
In celebration, the FF Plus said the BLF’s deregistration was a “great victory” for South Africa.
“The fact that the appeal was granted means that justice prevailed. The FF Plus has been fighting for law and order in this case since January. It is unacceptable that the IEC violated the Act by registering the BLF in the first place. Legislation may not be seen as mere guidelines, it must be complied with. No one is above the law,” it said.
But Mngxitama said their celebration was premature and would be short-lived.
“They celebrate because they think they have silenced us. They think that BLF will not be registered as a political party to enable it to contest the elections and ensure that blacks are well represented everywhere, including in parliament and the municipalities. Their celebrations are premature, but revealing,” noted Mngxitama.
He said the party would fight to get it back on the ballot and called on black people to join the fight. The party would study the IEC’s ruling and appeal to the Electoral Court. It would also approach the Constitutional Court if necessary.
“Prepare for the 2021 local government elections.” -IOL