BLF president Andile Mngxitama addressed students at KwaZulu-Natal University this week in a speech slammed by political parties and the IRR. File picture: Masi Losi/ANA Pictures

Durban - The ANC took power in 1994, didn't use it to advance the black agenda, and joined the “competition to become house negroes”.

Black Land First (BLF) president Andile Mngxitama addressed students at KwaZulu-Natal University this week in a speech slammed by political parties and the Institute for Race Relations.

He veered across many subjects from Indian/black relationships to identifying “the real enemy”.

Of the DA, he said giving that party power would be the “weirdest tactical move ever” because it directly represented the interests of white monopoly capitalists. 

“If we give the DA any tactical advantage, how does this advance the course of black liberation? There’s a competition here to become house negroes, the ANC is a house negro project and others want to become new house negroes.”

He said the ruling class in South Africa owned the means of production and these people were white monopoly capitalists.

“People in Parliament are not the ruling class. The ANC is not the ruling class because the ruling class owns the whole state of the economy and it means even the law is determined by them.”

Mngxitama said that in South Africa the enemy of black liberation was white people because they introduced colonialism as well as apartheid, which is the cause of Indians ill-treating black people.

“The white system has created this problem for all of us. Relations between Africans and Indians in this place (Durban) are rotten. The Indian question is because of white people,” he said.

The consequences of the apartheid racial hierarchy is that Indians were better prepared for industry because they were put in management positions where they exercised power over Africans.

He denied there were any white revolutionaries, and that “Ruth First, Joe Slovo were involved in a project to save white supremacy, they were prepared to sacrifice for it.”

Reacting to the statement, ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said they did not agree with the notion that to be progressive one had to be black and said First and Slovo were outstanding revolutionaries.

“We can’t get votes on the basis of negative campaigns but it should be the weight of our positive message and ideas that attract voters.

“His (Mngxitama) view that to be supported here we should say ‘Indians are bad’ is too shallow and lacks the strategic direction the country needs to take.”

Chief whip of the IFP, Narend Singh, said BLF was a divisive organisation which sought only to divide South Africans.

“The inciting statements made by Mngxitama flies in the face of many who have sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today. Our constitution enshrines the values of fairness, justice and equality.”

Spokesperson for the SA Institute of Race Relations, Michael Morris, said issues raised by BLF were not ones to be solved with inciteful slogans.

“It’s not the first time BFLF is indulging in reactionary activism that masquerades as radicalism,” he said.

“One of the virtues of living in a free state is that he is free to speak his mind, and the rest of society is free to judge him.”

The Independent on Saturday