BLF to rewrite constitution to reverse ban, but good luck trying to join if you’re white

BLF to rewrite constitution to reverse ban, but good luck trying to join if you’re white

BLF leader Andile Mngxitama at the group's special policy conference in Durban. Picture: Supplied

The BLF is hoping that a technical change in its constitution will allow them to reregister, without necessarily feeling ‘obligated’ to accept ‘members of the oppressor group as members’.

The Black First, Land First (BLF) movement has now said membership to its organisation “is open to all who agree” that “South Africa belongs to black people”, among other issues.

On the surface, this may seem that the party has changed its stance against accepting white people as members after the movement was deregistered as a political party for directly stating it was not open to enlisting any white person.

This was found to be unconstitutionally discriminating and they should therefore not have been allowed on the ballot in May.

However, the party will be rewriting its constitution in such a way that it will remain nearly impossible for a white person to enlist in any case. Despite this, the party hopes to have the decision banning them as a political party overturned.

At their special policy conference (SPC) held at the weekend in Durban, they wore T-shirts calling for the unbanning of the party along with their trademark “Land or Death” slogan.

BLF leader Andile Mngxitama addresses the group’s special policy conference in Durban. Picture: Supplied

They declared that the South African Constitution is allegedly anti-black and pro-white and that black people were not liberated in 1994.

“Instead white oppression was given legitimacy.”

There was even an obscenity in their official summary of their conference, in which they said that the “banning of BLF proves beyond reasonable doubt that 1994 changed fokol”.

In early November, the BLF received notice from the Electoral Court that its leave to appeal its deregistration as a political party had been denied.

The Freedom Front Plus had brought an application in the Electoral Court after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) dismissed its attempt to deregister the BLF on the basis that the movement would not allow white people, which the FF Plus successfully argued was in violation of the Electoral Act.

The BLF has therefore now resolved to open its membership to all those who agree that “South Africa belongs only to black people”, that the country “was stolen from black people by white people”, and that “white people arrived in SA in 1652 and are therefore not indigenous people of this country”, among other issues.

This technically means that white people should now be able to join the BLF as long as they are similarly hostile towards the presence of white South Africans in general or, at the very least, are strongly “pro-black”. It’s not yet clear how this mind-set will be tested.

It’s in any case moot, since the party also states that it will not allow a “land thief” to join it. Since it considers all white people “land thieves”, it’s therefore still highly unlikely any white person could ever make the cut.

The organisation says its main objective is “the liberation of black people from the system of white supremacy, which oppresses black people for the benefit of whites”.

The BLF further said its members must believe that white people are “colonialists who also implemented apartheid against black people” and that “white people must not only return the stolen land, they must also pay reparations to black people for colonialism and apartheid”.

The movement said it planned to reregister with the IEC at the “appropriate time without abandoning its pro-black stance”.

“BLF shall also register as a civil society organisation to fulfil its mission of the liberation of black people. Amending the constitution of BLF will serve to meet the requirements of the IEC and not to accept land thieves as members, and BLF has no obligation to accept members of the oppressor group as its members.”

It remains to be seen if the IEC will accept that the party is no longer directly discriminating against accepting white people as members, which may involve relying on the constitutional right to freedom of association.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu and Charles Cilliers)

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