IEC registers BLF again after party amends constitution
Johannesburg - Black First Land First has again been registered by the Electoral Commission (IEC) as a political party that can contest elections.
The party was deregistered a year ago, after the Electoral Court ruled in favour of an application to remove it from the IEC’s books.
This came after the Freedom Front Plus dragged the BLF and the IEC to the court after it argued that the BLF’s registration in 2016 was irregular because the party’s original constitution violated the Electoral Commission Act by limiting membership to black people.
The BLF’s constitution stated its membership could only come from the “African communities, the so-called Coloured communities and so-called Indian communities” which were defined as black by the founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, Steve Biko.
The IEC re-registered the BLF on November 16, a notice gazetted on Tuesday showed.
The party, which contested the May 2019 elections and could not get enough votes for a National Assembly seat, was one of 11 parties registered between October and November.
The notice read: “The Chief Electoral Officer hereby publishes the particulars set out in the Schedule, of political parties that have been registered in terms of Sections 15(1) and 15A (1) respectively, of that Act.”
This section meant registration of a party had been finalised.
IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela did not respond to questions sent on e-mail and WhatsApp on Wednesday morning.
BLF president Andile Mngxitama said no one was ever going to stop the party from representing the people of South Africa.
“Our people await us. Nothing is going to stop the BLF from representing the people of this country. Evil schemes will not work,” he said.
Mngxitama was cagey about whether the party had reviewed its constitution to allow white people to join.
He said registering the party again was fulfilling a mandate its leaders received from a conference held in December.
“We had a mandate to meet the requirements of the IEC,” he said.
“We remain a revolutionary movement that is black first. As you can see, that’s still our name,” said Mngxitama.
“The logo has not changed. We have met the requirements of the IEC. That’s the mandate we got.”