Congress of the People (COPE) national chairperson Pakes Dikgetsi spoke outside the Kimberley police station on Tuesday where he laid charges against Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama.
IOL reports that Dikgetsi compared Mngxitama’s recent statements to the early behaviour of dictators such as Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Uganda’s Idi Amin.
“Adolf Hitler started this way and people were killed. Idi Amin started this way and people were killed. We implore the SAPS to arrest (Mngxitama) immediately and not turn a blind eye. South Africa must not for a second allow racism or racist remarks,” Dikgetsi said.
“We had a bitter past and cannot allow anyone to take us back. All must be allowed their freedoms, won by the blood and sweat of people who died for these freedoms.”
The Citizen reported on Monday that Cope had released a statement on Twitter announcing their intention of laying charges against the BLF leader at the Kimberley Police Station on Tuesday.
It said the charges would be for hate speech and incitement to commit violence against white members of society by the BLF leader.
The party chose to lay the charges after a video clip, showing Mngxitama threatening that he and his followers would kill white people and their pets, raised renewed calls for him to be prosecuted for hate speech.
Cope said it would never keep silent when nation-building, reconciliation, and values of the country’s constitution were threatened.
“SA must never for once tolerate any leader of a political party to behave in such criminal manner without consequences. No amount of political intolerance and threats of violence must be allowed to permeate political discourse in a constitutional democracy,” the party’s statement reads.
It said Mngxitama had been “very clear in his racist statements”, adding that racism was part of the BLF leader’s DNA.