Black First Land First's Andile Mngxitama. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Johannesburg - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it will institute litigation at the Equality Court against BLF leader Andile Mngxitama following comments he made at a rally over the weekend. 

The organisation said it is deeply concerned by the comments made by Mngxitama and other leaders as they had wide-ranging consequences on society. 

Mngxitama told his supporters at a small rally, in Potchefstroom in the North West, that five white people should be killed for every black person that dies in taxi violence. His comments have been widely criticised. 

 The SAHRC said although it respects individual rights to freedom of speech, it believes Mngxitama's comments went too far beyond legal bounds. 

"While the Commission will continue to promote and vigorously protect this freedom, it should be noted that the right is not without limitations. The Commission is of the view that the utterances by Mngxitama go beyond the legally permissible limits of free speech, hence the decision to institute action in the Equality Court against him," said the commission in a statement on Thursday. 

"The SAHRC calls on all, especially those tasked with leadership across all levels, to assist in fostering the ideals of our constitutional democracy - equality, dignity and freedom - by refraining from utterances and actions that threaten the security of other persons, social cohesion and the attainment of these ideals."

This is the second threat of litigation against Mngxitama after the DA laid a criminal charge against him earlier in the week.  The party also reported him to the SAHRC. 

Meanwhile, trade union Solidarity said it would report the BLF to IEC and ask the commission not to allow the organisation to register and contest next year's general elections. 

Mngxitama said BLF would defend itself it called to explain by the IEC.  

The ANC has also condemned the comments along with other organisations such as the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.

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