People are still putting wreaths at Hoerskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Trade union Solidarity said on Thursday it would lay a charge at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and request that the Black First Land First (BLF) movement be banned from participating in the upcoming general election

It said it would also lay charges at the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Equality Court against BLF members on behalf of several of the parents of the victims of the recent Hoërskool Driehoek disaster.

Solidarity said it would also lay a charge at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and request that the BLF be banned from participating in the upcoming general election.

Solidarity Chief Executive Dr Dirk Hermann said they received a mandate from several of the affected parents to institute legal action against the BLF and its leaders. 

"As a parent and a South African I am absolutely appalled by the BLF members’ remarks and by Lindsay Maasdorp’s delighting in and celebrating the news on social media that four white children had died in the accident," said Lucille Olivier, one of the parents in the school community.

This comes after Lindsay Maasdorp, the BLF’s spokesperson said: “I would ‘mourn’ the deaths of the victims if they turned out to be black but ‘celebrate’ them if they were white.”

He added: "If our God has finally intervened and our ancestors have petitioned and seen that these white land thieves have now died then I definitely celebrate it. I celebrate the death of our enemies, their children, their cats and their dogs. That is our position."

Hermann said that racial hatred expressed by fringe figures cannot be ignored. If ignored, it will become the norm, he said. 

"The legal system is designed for the exception, not the norm. It was specifically designed for people like Maasdorp. The legal system metes out punishment so that the next unknown victim of the fringe figure can be protected. We need to prevent any more innocent victims from experiencing pain and tears caused by the BLF’s racial hatred," Hermann said.

Lucille Olivier said during the media conference that words cannot describe the pain they all feel. She added that the tragedy was definitely not one defined by race. 

"White and black children were hurt; white and black children cried together. All of them are our children and the tragedy affected all of us," Olivier said. 

Hermann said Solidarity’s legal action would be threefold. The trade union will begin with a charge of crimen injuria. 

"This charge will be laid at 12:00 today at the Vanderbijlpark SAPS. The focus of this charge will be on the illicit, intentional and serious prejudice of another person’s dignity. “In this case it also involves racial incitement and adverse remarks with regard to the race of these victims,” Hermann said. 

"Parties making statements based on racial hatred do not belong in a democratic election," Hermann said.

African News Agency/ANA