Thu. Jul 18th, 2019

Equality Court finds BLF guilty of hate speech for ‘Land or Death’ slogan

BLF Hate speechThe slogan was condemned by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

equality court finds blf guilty of hate speech for land or death slogan 1024x792 - Equality Court finds BLF guilty of hate speech for ‘Land or Death’ slogan

blf 1200x928 - Equality Court finds BLF guilty of hate speech for ‘Land or Death’ slogan

Political newcomer, Black First Land First (BLF), has been
found guilty of hate speech by the Equality Court.

The organisation’s primary political slogan, “Land or Death”, was condemned by both the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Equality Court on Monday. The damning verdict comes just days before the BLF is due to contest its first general election.

BLF guilty of hate speech, consequences to follow

Buang Jones, attorney for the SAHRC, announced that after a
postponement in March, the case was finally heard on the morning of 6 May.
Jones explained that the guilty verdict would likely lead to criminal
prosecutions, saying:

“Equality Court makes a finding that the Black First Land First (BLF) political slogan “Land or Death” is hate speech. Clerk of the Equality Court directed to send a copy of the judgment to the Director of Public Prosecutions for possible institution of criminal proceedings against the BLF and its leaders.”

The BLF, which is led by controversial figurehead, Andile Mngxitama,
has been ordered to obey the court’s findings and remedial action, which includes:

The removal of their political slogan “Land or
Death” from their regalia, social media accounts and website.

Issuing a unreserved written apology to all South Africans,
which will be published on the SAHRC website

The deadline for the above undertakings is set for 6 June 2019.

What is Black First Land First?

This isn’t the first time that the BLF has been condemned for their racially divisive rhetoric but it is a landmark ruling within the context of the judiciary. While the BLF has faced fierce public outcry, the ruling by the Equality Court, and the propensity for subsequent criminal charges, has set a consequential precedent.

The BLF, formed by Mngxitama in 2015 as a breakaway party from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has faced fierce contestation within the context of their electoral debut. The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) attempted, unsuccessfully, to have the BLF barred from competing in the 2019 general elections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *