Black First, Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama is back in court on Wednesday for the hate speech case brought against him by lobby group AfriForum.
It is currently being argued before the Equality Court, with AfriForum attempting to link Mngxitama’s comments to farm murders.
Last year, Mngxitama called for five white people to be killed for every black person, and that white people should be killed along with their pets and children.
Mngxitama said at the time that the call was in response to Rupert’s utterances that he was closely linked to the taxi association and so had his own army.
In a conversation with Given Mkhari, during an event hosted by Power FM last year, Rupert told Mkhari that he was closely associated with a chairperson of a taxi association.
“So I also have my own army. Those red guys, they’ve got to go and remember the taxi association,” Rupert said.
In a statement on Wednesday issued ahead of Mngxitama’s appearance at the Equality Court, sitting in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, BLF deputy president Zanele Lwana said that when Rupert “threatened to unleash black-on-black violence through his private army in the taxi industry”, the BLF expressed its opposition.
“Our movement said black lives matter too. We introduced the one-to-five ratio as a call to stop the bloodbath,” she said.
Lwana said the BLF had been dragged to court by AfriForum “for calling for self-defence”.
“For two days, [the court] shall hear how blacks must not offend whites by saying they will defend themselves. Johann Rupert can call his militia to murder and we blacks must not say a word,” Lwana said.
She said the movement “has lost all trust” in the country’s judiciary, a sentiment it expressed recently after the Electoral Court denied its appeal against its deregistration as a political party.
“We remember that not so long ago, the same court said AfriForum has the right to say apartheid is not a crime against humanity.
“We are no longer surprised when courts openly show bias against us. In fact, we expect it,” Lwana said.
AfriForum’s head of policy and action, Ernst Roets, tweeted ahead of the court proceedings on Wednesday that he would testify on hate speech and farm murders.
Roets said at the commencement of the proceedings that a video of Mngxitama’s speech in which he made the call for five whites to be killed for every one black person was played in court, despite an objection from the defendant’s attorney.