The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) has launched a third bid to have the Electoral Court force the SA Electoral Commission (IEC) to remove the Black First Land First (BLF) from this year’s ballot paper.
Speaking to City Press on Friday, FF Plus media officer Pieter Swart confirmed that they want BLF deregistered as a political party and, by extension, removed from this year’s ballot paper.
“Our main argument is that the Constitution and the laws and regulations of the IEC do not allow for a party to openly exclude other races in the manner that the BLF does.
“From their leader’s own utterances to what is written on their website, the BLF says it is a party for blacks only and yet the IEC still allowed it to register,” said Swart.
IEC spokesperson Tsile Maswanganyi confirmed to City Press that the FF Plus had indeed “approached the Electoral Court to appeal against the decision of the Electoral Commission to dismiss its appeal that was lodged with the commission in relation to the decision of the chief electoral officer to register the BLF as a political party”.
Swart said the party had withdrawn its initial bid in the Electoral Court sitting in the Johannesburg High Court on advice from their attorneys.
“We withdrew the case in the Electoral Court because there was a technical shift. Our attorneys advised us to start the process with the IEC first and, since the complaint was dismissed, we could then have a leg to stand on when approaching the Electoral Court,” said Swart.
BLF leader Andile Mngxitama did not mince his words when speaking to City Press on Friday.
“The FF Plus again approached the Electoral Court last week. This is after they withdrew the matter, approached the IEC and failed in their application, and they are now running back to the same court that they abandoned.
“This is just a desperate strategy from the FF Plus. You should look at their leadership and tell me if there is any diversity. That party only uses a few black stooges to belie the fact that it is still a racist Afrikaans party.
“Look at the party’s history: leaders from the former Conservative Party, a party that wished to preserve many aspects of apartheid in its DNA, were assimilated into the FF Plus and yet they are the ones to accuse us of racism and a lack of diversity.
“The only reason they are fighting us tooth and nail is because the BLF, unlike the ANC and the EFF, is serious on its stance on the land issue. The FF Plus knows that if we get into Parliament we will not drag our feet on the matter. The ANC and the EFF make up more than two thirds of parliament; why do you think they have not amended the Constitution by now? They are in the pockets of these land owners and are protecting their interests.”
The BLF leader added that he wants it on record that should the party be removed from the ballot paper, “we will be left with no choice but to take up arms and fight for our freedom. As it stands, it’s 2-0 over the FF Plus and, going into the hearing on April 24, it will be 3-0,” Mngxitama said.
Swart said. “It is such utterances – such as talking about taking up arms – that would ensure the FF Plus’ victory at the Electoral Court.”