The Black First, Land First (BLF) party received notice from the Electoral Court that its leave to appeal its deregistration as a political party has been denied.
The Freedom Front Plus brought an application in the Electoral Court after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) dismissed its attempt to deregister BLF on the basis that the latter movement will not allow white people to become members, which FF Plus had argued was in violation of the Electoral Act.
On Monday, the Electoral Court set aside BLF’s appeal against its deregistration.
BLF leader Andile Mngxitama said the movement’s deregistration by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (ECSA) was “expected” and that the decision by the “biased” and “hostile” court would not be appealed.
“BLF will be holding a special Policy Conference on the 30th of November this year in Durban to chart the way forward,” the movement said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mngxitama said the BLF has lost “all trust” in the country’s justice system.
“We shall not be subjecting ourselves to the kangaroo courts of white supremacy any further. We won’t appeal the decision of the Electoral Court.”
FF Plus president Pieter Groenewald said in accordance with Section 16(1)(c) of the Electoral Commission Act (Act 51 of 1996), the IEC may not register a political party that excludes membership based on race, skin colour or ethnicity.
“The BLF’s constitution, however, stipulates in Section 4 that only black people may become members of the party,” Groenewald said in a statement.
He further said the BLF had argued, in part, that the wording of its constitution had been incorrectly interpreted and that people of other races can be seen as black.
“The FF Plus argued that the BLF repeatedly made it abundantly clear through its leader, Andile Mngxitama, that white people may not become members of the BLF. It was declared thus under oath and was also reiterated in various media interviews,” Groenewald said.
He said in Mngxitama’s initial opposing statement earlier this year, which was filed during the FF Plus’s application to the Electoral Court, he confirmed under oath that the BLF’s constitution excludes white people based on race.
“The deregistration of the BLF as a political party is a victory for the whole of South Africa because racialism and intolerance, as was incited and encouraged by Mngxitama and his supporters, will not be tolerated,” Groenewald said.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has said it welcomes the deregistration of the BLF as a political party.
The DA said since its inception the BLF has caused division among South Africans as its constitution stated that only black people can be members of their party.
The DA’s Mike Moriarty said: “There is no place in this country for such parties or politicians who gain votes by stoking vicious hatred.”
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)