A press release issued by controversial organisation Black First Land First(BLF) confirms leader Andile Mngxitama and other members will be appearing before the Equality Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday, where they will face charges of hate speech.
The statement claims that, as well as seeking to have BLF and its leaders charged with hate speech, the South African Human Rights Commision (SAHRC), who opened the case, also wants the court to ban the organisation.
Whether the Equality Court would actually have the authority to ban the organisation is unclear. While the magistrate involved in the case in court when approached for comment, a clerk said that as far as he knew, banning organisations would be beyond the jurisdiction of the Equality Court, which is a magistrates’ court.
“The weight and power to ban organisations would I believe only exist in the high court and upwards,” he said.
According to the BLF, the case was lodged by “Lucy Strydom, a white woman represented by the SAHRC”.
The press release blamed “white monopoly capital via the SAHRC” for taking them to court, adding the case sought to have slogans the organisation uses, such as “Land or Death”, “by any means necessary” and “one settler one bullet”, declared hate speech.
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Among those charged, apart from Mngxitama and the organisation itself, are BLF deputy president Zanele Lwana, national spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp, deputy secretary-generals Tshidiso Tsimong and Zwelakhe Dubasi as well as treasurer-general Thandiswa Yaphi.
The Citizen reported last week that Mngxitama told journalists that no court would stop the BLF from defending itself against “settlers”.
“We must be clear, any white person who touches us we will send them to hell. Any white person who touches us, we will go to their homes, we will go to where they eat, we will go to where they work, we will find them, and we will deal with them.
“No f**k*ng court is going to stop us from defending ourselves against settlers. They stole our land, they make us slaves, now today they are coming to take our dignity, and you believe we will not defend ourselves? That will not happen,” Mngxitama said.