BLF members denied access to the State Capture Inquiry. File picture: Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA.
Johannesburg - Black First Land First (BLF) president Andile Mngxitama welcomed an apology from the commission of inquiry into state capture for removing him and members of the party from a public sitting of the commission last month.

Mngxitama and BLF members were barred from appearing at the commission on July 15 to support former president Jacob Zuma when he was giving testimony before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

BLF deputy president Zanele Lwana said there was no rule that stipulates that political parties wearing political regalia be denied access.

“It’s clear that the Zondo commission has no rule that stipulates that people belonging to a political party cannot be granted access to the commission. What is clear from our experience on the day our president was denied access is that senior people within the commission instructed law enforcement officers at the venue to deny him (Mngxitama) access to the commission,” she said.

The police and security of the Zondo commission claimed that there was a standing rule that denied access to the hearings of the commission to people wearing political party regalia. When asked to show the rule, they failed to do so, said Lwana.

“There seems to be a clear bias from the commission’s side to treat people associated with former president Zuma unjustly.

“That is why the president of the BLF was given such treatment on that particular day,” she said.

Lwana further said the BLF was waiting for an apology from Minister of Police Bheki Cele, for the actions of the police who barred Mngxitama and the party’s members from accessing the commission’s venue in Parktown.