By Oluthando Keteyi - 16 July 2019Views : 298
The Freedom Front Plus has won its appeal against the registration of the Black First Land First (BLF) as a political party with the Electoral Commission (IEC).
The Commission determined that the BLF does indeed deny people membership to the party based on race and, thus, the BLF was deregistered as a political party.
In accordance with section 16(1)(c) of the Electoral Commission Act (Act 51 of 1996), the IEC is prohibited from registering a political party that excludes people based on race, skin colour or ethnicity. The BLF's constitution stipulates in section 4 that only black people may become members of the party.
The IEC initially stuck to its guns and argued that the registration of the BLF is not in contravention with the regulations of the Act seeing as section 4 of the party's constitution apparently only refers to a particular ideology rather than a specific race.
However, the leader of the BLF, Andile Mngxitama, himself contradicted this assertion in his first opposing statement, as recorded during the FF Plus's application to the Electoral Court, by confirming that the BLF's constitution does indeed exclude white people from joining the party based on their race.
Thus, the Commission had no choice but to find in favour of the FF Plus and consequently, the BLF was deregistered as a political party.
The deregistration of the BLF as a political party is a great victory for the whole of South Africa because racialism and intolerance, as was advocated by Mngxitama, must not be tolerated.
The Black First Land First (BLF) is, however, considering appealing the ruling. Mngxitama, according to The Sowetan, said that his party after reading the judgement would " consider whether they should take the IEC to the constitutional court or let BLF operate like an underground movement."
The fact that the appeal was granted means that justice prevailed. The FF Plus has been fighting for law and order in this case since January. It is unacceptable that the IEC violated the Act by registering the BLF in the first place. Legislation may not be seen as mere guidelines, it must be complied with. No one is above the law.
The FF Plus in a statement said that it is "satisfied with the victory but is disappointed with the IEC because the Commission initially defended the registration of the party, which was clearly in contravention with the relevant legislation. The FF Plus fights back against racialism and lawlessness and will not back down in the face of troublemakers like the BLF."