Black Land First (BLF) president Andile Mngxitama and deputy president Zanele Lwana. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
Black Land First (BLF) president Andile Mngxitama and deputy president Zanele Lwana. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

'Bruised' BLF regrouping, searching for relevance

By SIHLE MAVUSO Time of article published Dec 24, 2019

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After surviving a politically bruising year that saw it failing to make it to Parliament and being de-registered by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), Black First Land First (BLF) is planning to regroup next year.

The party is also planning to contest the 2021 local government elections soon after getting its house in order.

The party’s president, Andile Mngxitama, said on Monday that all was not lost with his party.

“We have declared the year 2020 the year of awakening and organising. So we are going to spend the year intensifying our messaging around the programme of educating the people about Black First Land First,” he said.

Mngxitama said the first step would be registering as a non-profit organisation in order to remain as a legal body while fixing its constitution to allow South Africans of all races to join. 

He said that since their special conference had resolved on the admission issue, that matter was now behind them.

“We agreed at our conference that we must register BLF as a non-profit organisation, that’s number one. But we are also going to (later) register it as a political party with the IEC. We are amending the constitution very carefully. We are not allowing white people into the BLF, we are just meeting the requirement of the IEC. Freedom Front Plus does not have black members but in its constitution, it says it is open to all,” he said.

He also said part of their work would involve educating members of the public about them so that they could understand their ideology. Political education would be followed by a massive recruitment drive.

However, Durban-based independent political analyst Thabani Khumalo said the party still had a lot of work to do if it wanted to be a serious political player. He said one of their urgent tasks was to move away from confrontational politics as voters often saw it as a way politicians used to raise their profiles and gain political power.

“The results they got from the elections shows that the BLF does not appeal to the black masses. I don’t think they have a place in the political space of the country. In order to make an impact, they have to reposition themselves, they have to tone it down,” Khumalo said.

He added: “People are talking reconciliation and reconstruction, and they are tired of confrontation because it is taking them nowhere. They have learnt that politicians use rhetoric and populism and people’s emotions just to gain as leaders, and not to benefit them as people.”

Political Bureau

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