Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama and AfriForum’s head of policy and action Ernst Roets. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA) and Joe Brock/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama is to square off with civil rights organisation AfriForum in the Equality Court in Joburg over his racial slurs in Potchefstroom in December.

AfriForum lodged an application in the Equality Court, and the trial is set down for Wednesday and Thursday in Johannesburg. It’s spokesperson, Hesti Steenkamp, said the civil rights organisation submitted charges against Mngxitama last year, after he advocated for “the murder of white people” during a speech in Potchefstroom.

In his address to party supporters, Mngxitama reportedly said: “We’ll kill their children. We’ll kill their women. We’ll kill anything that we find on our way We’ll kill their dogs. We’ll kill their cats. We’ll kill anything that comes before us.”

Mngxitama reportedly stated that his organisation would murder five white people each time a black person was murdered in South Africa. He also claimed that his organisation was busy mobilising 50000 soldiers for this purpose.

Steenkamp said Ernst Roets, AfriForum’s head of policy and action, would testify as an expert witness, while Mngxitama is expected to conduct his own defence.

Last month, Mngxitama suffered another political blow after the Freedom Front Plus, under Pieter Groenewald, successfully appealed to the Electoral Commission of South Africa to deregister BLF as a political party.

The FF+ had initially tried to block the BLF from registering for the first time in the national elections on May 8, but the court ruled against it.

The party was able to register and participate in the elections, but it failed to secure any seats in Parliament.

Mngxitama served in Parliament after the 2014 national elections as an EFF MP, but quit over internal squabbles with party leader Julius Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu.

After his party failed to secure a seat, the FF+ dealt a crushing blow to Mngxitama’s ambition to remain in the political arena after the IEC ruled that the BLF was indeed excluding membership of the party based on race.

The BLF’s constitution states: “Any black person who has reached the age of 18; accepts the politics, ideological perspective and constitution of the BLF; joins a branch of the organisation and is prepared to work actively in it as part of the branch collective; is committed to honouring the organisation’s resolutions and decisions; accepts the organisation’s policy perspectives; commits herself/himself to being a disciplined member and is willing to pay the necessary membership fees may become a member of the BLF.”

Section 16 (1)(c) of the Electoral Commission Act, however, states that the chief electoral officer may not register a party if, among other things, that party “indicates that persons will not be admitted to membership or be welcomed as supporters of the party on the grounds of their race, ethnic origin or colour”.

Mngxitama’s troubles with the appeal process worsened after he admitted in a statement opposing the FF+’s application that the BLF did indeed exclude whites, which prompted the IEC to rule in favour of the FF+.

Political Bureau