Civil rights organisation AfriForum has instructed its legal team to lay a charge of hate speech against Andile Mngxitama, Leader of Black First Land First (BLF), at the Equality Court. In the entreaties AfriForum also requests
a finding by the Court that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must institute an investigation to criminally prosecute Mngxitama.
Solly Malatsi MP, DA National Spokesperson – 10 December 2018
The DA will be reporting Andile Mngxitama to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Equality Court in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (PEPUDA) for comments in which he incites violence against white South Africans.
The Equality Court in terms of PEPUDA Chapter 2, sections 6 and 7, states that “no person may unfairly discriminate against any person on the ground of race, including – (a) the dissemination of any propaganda or idea, which propounds the racial superiority of inferiority of any person, including incitement to, or participation in, any form of violence; (b) the engagement in any activity which is intended to promote, or has the effect of promoting, exclusivity, based on race”.
Further to this, the DA North West Provincial Leader, Joe McGluwa, will lay charges against Mngxitima for incitement of imminent violence. We cannot allow Mngxitama’s comments and actions to go unchallenged.
Institutions of the state empowered to investigate and prosecute on matters of this nature have a duty to act.
In a speech delivered at a BLF rally in Potchefstroom on 9 December, and in a series of tweets thereafter, Mngxitama launched into a tirade against businessman Johann Rupert, saying inter alia “if he hires his taxi bosses to kill one black we shall kill five whites” and “[w]e will go to the white suburbs and avenge each black life.”
This will not be the first time BLF and their leader find themselves knee-deep in hate speech allegations. This behaviour is undoubtedly a trend characteristic of the BLF, as is clearly evident based on their track record over the past 2 years. In 2018 alone, the following comes to light:
- The BLF have been accused of hate speech by the South African Human Rights Commission, who have simultaneously recommended that the party be prevented from contesting the 2019 elections on the grounds that they have made statements violating the Electoral Act;
- Spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp has come under fire for his posting on both Facebook and Twitter that “I have aspirations to kill white people, and this must be achieved!”; and
- Earlier this year, a female lawyer was branded racist by BLF members and attacked in Johannesburg – when EWN asked Mngxitama to comment on the incident, he responded by saying he did not know why she was labelled as racist by BLF members, but that he supported their actions in attacking her and believed whatever they had to say.
These acts follow the BLF’s behaviour patterns last year, namely in September 2017, when Mngxitama tweeted: “For those claiming the legacy of the holocaust is ONLY negative, think about the lampshades and Jewish soap”. This was followed with another tweet: “the aroma of the burning flesh from the furnace of the holocaust may wet the appetite of the SA cannibals”.
The national director of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) Wendy Kahn said the board was seeking orders from court to find Mngxitama in violation of the Equality Act for hate speech, harassment, and to find him guilty of unfair discrimination. Mngxitama responded to these moves by Kahn by stating that the SAJBD was displaying white supremacist tendencies.
South Africa belongs to all who live in it. There is no place for race-based incitement of violence and those who engage in hate speech should be investigated and prosecuted with the full might of the law. We cannot turn a blind eye to or diminish the seriousness of Mngxitama’s naked racism, hate speech and incitement.
The DA will continue to fight for the rights of all South Africans – black and white. We are the only party that will build One South Africa for All and bring the much-needed change South Africans so desperately deserve.