WATCH | 'You kill one black person, we kill five white people' - BLF president
Black First Land First (BLF) has defended its president, Andile Mngxitama, for urging supporters to kill white people and their pets should black people be attacked and killed.
Mngxitama made the comments, which have ignited a heated debate and calls for him to be prosecuted for hate speech, to supporters at a party rally in Potchefstroom, in the North West, on Saturday.
BLF spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp told TimesLIVE on Monday that Mngxitama had been speaking in the context of self-defence.
Maasdorp said supporters were only being instructed to defend themselves should they be attacked and killed by white people.
Mngxitama, he added, had been responding to a statement by billionaire Johann Rupert about the taxi industry.
Rupert mentioned during a recent and much talked about interview with Power FM that he had a long time friend in the taxi industry whom he referred to as the chairman of the taxi association.
Rupert said: “Jabu [Eskom chairperson, Jabu Mabuza] and I have one thing in common: He’s chairman of the [South African Black] Taxi Association and one of the first tenants of business partners was the taxi association. So I also have my own army. When those red guys [EFF supporters come}, they’ve gonna have to remember the Taxi Association.”
A clip of the interview can be seen here.
Mabuza was involved with the South African Black Taxis Association (SABTA) during and after apartheid. SABTA was established in 1979 and comprised of local taxi associations.
The EFF took exception and accused the billionaire of suggesting that people in the industry would protect him from the red berets.
This, according to Maasdorp, was inciting black-on-black violence and the BLF "couldn’t allow that to happen".
During his speech, Mngxitama told his supporters to retaliate should they be attacked by taxi bosses.
"Johann Rupert says if we touch him he is going to unleash upon us the taxi-industry people.
"Now here is a message to Johann Rupert: pay the taxi industry bosses, but here is the deal, for each one person that is being killed by the taxi industry, we kill five white people.
"You kill one of us, we will kill five of you. We will kill their children, we will kill their woman, we will kill anything that we find on our way," Mngxitama said.
Only a fool will not know that the reference to the taxi industry is a threat of killing. Johann Rupert must know we wont allow it anymore. No black on black violence allowed. You touch us we go for you...— andile (@Mngxitama) December 9, 2018
Let's repeat. If you Kill black people. Will kill you too!!!. Tell Johann Rupert.— andile (@Mngxitama) December 9, 2018
According to Maasdorp, the "same mistake was made in the 80s".
"Just like in the 80s, we know the National Party under [FW]de Klerk was using the Inkatha Freedom Party and the ANC to fight against each other and kill black people.
"Johann Rupert has instigated the same violence recently. We are instructing our people that we can’t fall into the trap that Johann Rupert has set to see us killing ourselves.
"We stand by our word. This is our position," he said.
South Africans have since asked that Mngxitama be charged with hate speech and for inciting violence.
The Human Rights Commission has accused the BLF of hate speech in the past and has recommended that it should be prevented from contesting the 2019 election.
I reported Mngxtama to the SAHRC. A formal report with this video as evidence— Gert hanekom (@GertHanekom) December 9, 2018