BLF blame Oppenheimers as crowdfunding election campaign shut down

Crowdfunding platform BackABuddy will no longer be accepting campaigns for political organisations, which they have called 'very divisive'.

Black First Land First (BLF) has accused the Oppenheimers of having their crowdfunding campaign on BackABuddy cancelled. The campaign sought to raise the R600,000 deposit needed for them to contest the 2019 elections.

The party said they would use the funds for “worthy social upliftment projects” once the deposit was returned by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), namely “upgrading a school and building a house for a deserving family”.

The campaign has been removed from BackABuddy on Friday, with a note explaining their decision and saying that those who wish to support the campaign can contact BLF directly.

BackABuddy’s Catherine du Plooy told the Citizen that the removal of the campaign “had nothing to do with the Oppenheimers” and added that it was removed because it “did not comply with our terms and conditions”.

In a tweet, the party’s deputy president Zanele Lwana accused the crowdfunding site of double standards because while the BLF campaign was removed, the site has hosted campaigns for AfriForum in the past.

The site has hosted two campaigns connected to AfriForum, one to raise money for a private prosecution case by the SPCA on behalf of advocate Gerrie Nel, which the site says did not go live, and one for AfriForum-linked union Solidariteit, which raised R295,000 for a family who lost their children in an accident.

In a statement, BackABuddy says that while they began by raising money for “non-profit organisations or for individuals” they later broadened the criteria to include “various organisations who, while not political parties, do engage in the political discourse”.

The statement continues to note that while BackABuddy accepted the Solidariteit and AfriForum campaigns, and also initially accepted the BLF one, they have since “realised that accepting campaigns from political organisations, whoever they are, can sow division which is in direct conflict with the founding mission of BackaBuddy”.

READ MORE: BLF to ‘expropriate the farms and houses of white DA leaders’

“It is a complex problem and we are still grappling with it. For now, while we deliberate further, we will not be accepting campaigns from any political organisations,” the statement continues.

BackABuddy has hosted campaigns raising money for a variety of causes, which have recently included one for the family of the Dros rape victim, and one for NPO Cancer Buddies. Their website says the platform has raised in excess of R80 million so far.

BLF’s national head of media and communications Brian Tloubatla was asked on what they base their assertion that the Oppenheimers are behind the removal of the campaign from BackABuddy.

Tloubatla repeated the press release almost verbatim. Their link of the Oppenheimers to the removal of the campaign appears to be based on its timing, which they say was “a few hours after the BLF confronted the Oppenheimers in parliament”.

READ MORE: EFF accused by BLF of not ‘fighting against’ Oppenheimers like they are

According to Tloubatla, “there was no dialogue and no explanation” regarding why the campaign was shut down and the party “ensured all criteria was adhered to” only to have the campaign cancelled due to its “being divisive”.

The party believes that, in shutting down the campaign, “white capital showed us its power”.

According to the party “all economic platforms are captured by white monopoly capital (WMC)”.

Their full statement can be read here.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Read more on these topics

Black First Land First (BLF) crowdfunding

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits