Defiant Andile Mngxitama takes aim at Malema, Rupert and Gordhan
Black First Land First (BLF) president Andile Mngxitama — already in hot water for his rant about "killing white people" at the weekend — has upped the ante by launching a verbal attack on EFF leader Julius Malema.
Mngxitama called a media conference on Tuesday to clarify his comments made during the party's rally in Potchefstroom, North West, on Saturday.
Mngxitama came under fire after he had urged his supporters to kill five white people for every one black person killed.
"You kill one of us, we will kill five of you. We will kill their children, we will kill their women, we will kill anything that we find on our way," Mngxitama said.
The comments have been labelled by many as hate speech.
In the process of defending his comments on Tuesday, the BLF leader also hurled accusations — some of them unsubstantiated — at Malema, billionaire Johann Rupert and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.
Mngxitama claimed that Malema had laughed at him "for being broke" but accused Malema of having "surrendered his family to [Adriano] Mazzotti". This after it was reported that Malema's wife and children lived in a luxurious house owned by alleged tobacco smuggler Mazzotti.
"Yes, I am broke but still I have some dignity," he charged.
EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said he would not comment on allegations made without any proof.
Mngxitama went further, accusing Gordhan of being the "mastermind of defending white monopoly capital".
Mngxitama remained adamant that he had made the controversial statements in the context of "self-defence".
"If you warn somebody 'don't do this thing', how can you be the perpetrator? We are saying to Johann Rupert: do not unleash black-on-black violence, if you do, you will unleash our violence in defence," he said.
Rupert mentioned during a recent 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 chair Jabu Mabuza] and I have one thing in common: he’s chairman of the [SA Black] Taxi Association, and one of the first [partners] in Business Partners was the taxi association."
Then, in an aside, he said: "So I also have my own army. When those red guys [EFF supporters] come, they’re gonna have to remember the taxi association."
Business Partners is the company the Ruperts started in 1981 to support small businesses. Mabuza was involved with the SA Black Taxi Association (Sabta) during and after apartheid. Sabta was established in 1979 and comprised local taxi associations.
The EFF took exception and accused the billionaire of suggesting that people in the taxi industry would protect him from the red berets.
Explaining how he had come to understand the statement to mean that black people would be killed, Mngxitama claimed that "only a fool would not know" that the reference implied that anyone who affected the interests of the business tycoon would be subjected to violence by taxi owners.
"In taxi violence people get killed. They kill their owners and kill their drivers, they even shoot innocent people. When you say you have a taxi association as an army, you are saying you have the capacity to unleash unimaginable violence."
He claimed that he had already spoken to military war veterans from Zimbabwe and that they had agreed to train members of the BLF.
"You all know that white people have their own military bases and training themselves claiming they are training for self-defence. We are also going to train our self-defence groups using the former military wings of the liberation movements.
"It is easy, if you are prepared to kill to keep the land, we are equally prepared to do the same to get it back. It is life for life."
Mngxitama claimed that interdicts had been obtained against the BLF after they identified farms to "take" in Stellenbosch.
Whatever happened, he maintained, the BLF would be in parliament in 2019.