UPDATE: Sakeliga attaches BLF account, will use money to fight land grabs

Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama briefs media at BLF Head Office in Johannesburg, 11 November 2018, on why BLF calls for 5 Whites for every 1 Black life and an announcement of steps to be taken to ensure self defence. Picture:Nigel Sibanda

Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama briefs media at BLF Head Office in Johannesburg, 11 November 2018, on why BLF calls for 5 Whites for every 1 Black life and an announcement of steps to be taken to ensure self defence. Picture:Nigel Sibanda

The BLF intended to use the money to register for elections, but will now have it used against them.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Black First Land First complained that minority civil rights organisation AfriForum had not let up on its fight against them, and succeeded in having their bank account frozen.

However, the party was confusing AfriForum with another Afrikaner organisation Sakeliga, which won a costs order against the party last year.

Sakeliga confirmed this week in a statement that they had attached the BLF’s account in order to recover an amount of R68,000. The cost order comes from an interdict Sakeliga was granted by the High Court in Pretoria in a ruling that prohibited the BLF from inciting land grabs.

In a statement, Sakeliga CEO Piet le Roux said: “Sakeliga intends to recover R68,000 in legal costs from BLF and will be using the money to finance Landgrab911. Landgrab911 is a platform created to assist in warding off landgrabs. It empowers land owners with information, legal assistance and property records from the office of the chief surveyor general, so as to prepare for, or act against, illegal land occupiers.”

He said the BLF’s potential to harm society needed to be limited.

“To incite land grabs is criminal behaviour and – if allowed to continue – is liable to have serious knock-on effects. For this reason, it is imperative that this type of behaviour be quashed. We take note of the fact that BLF, apparently, intended to use these funds to register for the 2019 elections, but this will not dissuade us from recovering the costs. If BLF had refrained from criminal actions, it would not have lost this money.”

The BLF believed the matter is related to their ongoing tussle against AfriForum, which has also dragged them to the courts. The party has for some time accused them and others of trying to destroy them through legal costs, which have been mounting.

They have claimed that the numerous groups, parties and people who have taken them to court for various reasons have done so knowing that they have struggled to afford legal representation and are in fact “broke”.

BLF deputy president Zanele Lwana has said: “It is a lot of money to pay for legal representation in this country.”

They accused AfriForum of being “land thieves and racists” who are “terrified that the BLF will be in parliament after the elections in May”.

Party spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp said on Tuesday: “The racist, right-wing, apartheid-denying AfriForum has illegally obtained court orders to freeze the BLF’s bank account. The objective is to try steal BLF’s IEC deposit money and therefore stop us from contesting the elections.”

He said the BLF had received an email from First National Bank, whom they bank with, informing them their account had been frozen.

“Our movement has since confirmed that our account is indeed blocked. BLF has been aware of this evil plan and has secured most of the funds for deposit for National Assembly.

“First it was Johann Rupert and the Oppenheimer family which stopped the BLF crowdfunding campaign. Now it’s AfriForum desperately trying to stop BLF from going to parliament. They will not succeed. BLF will be on the ballot. BLF is going to parliament!”

He said they took the new efforts to attach their assets as “nothing but a declaration of war”.

“BLF is broke, just like the landless black majority. Our movement survives through donations from black people who give the little that they have to make sure we stay afloat. Black people have been donating to make sure BLF pays the IEC deposit so the BLF is able to contest the 2019 elections. The racist AfriForum which is made up of land thieves, is now taking the people’s contributions to the #TakeBLFToParliament campaign in order to ensure that parliament remains an entity for those who are controlled by white monopoly capital.

They called on all the people who had been donating into the BLF account as part of helping raise the deposit to stop, since the money would be going to AfriForum. The BLF would announce an alternative process soon.

The party is possibly the most divisive in South Africa, with numerous groups taking issue with, particularly, the racially charged rhetoric of its leader, Andile Mngxitama.

Note: This article was updated on 1 March at 6.50 am to reflect Sakeliga’s comment.

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