andile mngxitama blf hate speech

Photo: Twitter / Solidariteit

BLF hate speech: Possible punishment if Mngxitama is found guilty

BLF are embroiled in yet another hate speech court bid, and this time, it involves the shocking statements made by the party’s spokesperson following the tragic deaths of Hoërskool Driehoek pupils.

andile mngxitama blf hate speech

Photo: Twitter / Solidariteit

Andile Mngxitama, leader of Black First Land First (BLF), appeared before the South Gauteng High Court, on Tuesday, to respond to Solidariteit’s hate speech application.

BLF hate speech: What’s the latest?

The leader of the BLF finally made his appearance before the court after previously failing to show up.

The charge was brought against his movement after BLF spokesperson, Lindsay Maasdorp, described February’s Hoërskool Driehoek tragedy — which culminated in the untimely death of four children — as a suitable punishment for white people and their children.

Solidariteit, a labour union that is representing the parents of the victims, believes that this constitutes hate speech, discrimination and harassment.

In court, Mngxitama defended the utterance, stating that it was no indication that the deaths were being celebrated, but that “what happened was a spontaneous response indicating the difficulty of an unequal society.”

His main contention, it seems, is that the historical plight of black people far exceeds any infraction that may have been committed by Maarsdorp in her post.

“The land they have must be repossessed. We have bigger fights than these accusations that say we are bloodthirsty because we aren’t,” he said.

Mngxitama added that the controversial and widely divisive utterance his party’s spokesperson made cannot amount to hate speech because “social context matters and that the hurtful post [came] from a place of pain.”

Solidariteit, represented by Advocate Dirk Groenewald, has argued that historical context cannot be accepted by the court as a means to substantiate Maarsdorp actions.

At the time of publishing this article, proceedings at the South Gauteng High Court had not concluded.

What happens if Mngxitama is found guilty

While the Prevention and Combatting of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill has yet to be passed into law, the BLF has already been found guilty of hate speech, by the Equality Court.

The issue was lodged by the Freedom Front Plus who claimed that the BLF slogan, “Land or Death”, was a gross violation of the Constitution and amounted to hate speech.

In that matter, the BLF was ordered to completely remove its slogan and submit a written apology to all South Africans within a month.

Should the Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill be passed into law, those found guilty can face time in jail, a hefty fine, or both. It remains to be seen what the outcome of this court bid will be.

For the BLF, this is just another ploy led by ‘Afrikaner right-wingers’ “who are opposed to land being returned to blacks.”

“Solidarity is in the vilest and cynical way manipulating the pain of the families who lost their loved ones to try and stop BLF from organizing and agitating for land to be returned,” the party said in an article recently-published on its website.