BLF to be deregistered for excluding whites

Staff Writer | Jul 16, 2019
Black First Land First (BLF) is to be deregistered as a political party following the finding of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) that it was in breach of the Electoral Commission Act.

The case was brought by the Freedom Front Plus (FF+), appealing an earlier objection to the BLF’s registration, in January this year.

Section 16 of the Act prohibits the registration of parties that exclude people based on race – although this is somewhat ambiguous, since it has been argued that the prohibition in the Act was in fact directed at party symbols. Racial exclusivity is integral to BLF’s ideology and political identity, and is so expressed in its constitution, which precludes whites from membership.

The FF+ said that it was unacceptable that the IEC had registered BLF in the first place. It added that its win was a victory for the country as a whole, as it denoted a pushback against the ‘racialism and intolerance’ that BLF embodied. It said that this was also a victory for the rule of law as it affirmed that the law was not a mere guideline to be ignored when expedient.

BLF leader Andile Mngxitama said: ‘Our immediate response is that blackness is criminalised in South Africa.’ He and some party associates had made the news earlier in the day by arriving to support former president Jacob Zuma in his appearance before the Zondo Commission. Mngxitama was reportedly denied entry because he was wearing party insignia.

SowetanLive later reported that Mngxitama ‘said the party would read the judgment and consider whether they should take the IEC to the Constitutional Court or let BLF operate like an underground movement’.

 

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