Black First Land First (BLF) president Andile Mngxitama has threatened an "arm struggle" should the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) deregister his party over his alleged hate speech.
He said that comments he made over the weekend in Ikageng in the North West encouraging his supporters to kill white people were merely a defence against recent statements made by billionaire Johann Rupert, which he interpreted as an "incitement to violence" against black people.
Mngxitama said that he would be laying charges of inciting violence against Rupert.
"I also have my own army. When those red guys come, they've gonna have to remember the taxi association."_Johann Rupert inciting black on black violence and we must lie down and let him walk on us?? No thats Given Mkharis occupation.. We are clear with 1:5 #WeStandWithMngxitama -- Morgan_Masiki (@MMasiki) December 11, 2018
In a recent interview with Power FM's Given Mkhari at the second annual Chairman's Conversation, Rupert warned that he had "friends in the taxi industry" who he referred to as his "own army".
Over the weekend Mngxitama urged his members to "kill five white people for every one black person that dies because of taxi violence" as a form of retaliation should Rupert's "army" go up against black people.
On Tuesday, he stood by his words and said "white people" who have no intention of killing black people should not be worried.
In a speech delivered at a BLF rally, & in a series of tweets, #AndileMngxitama launched into a tirade against Johann Rupert, saying "if he hires his taxi bosses to kill one black we shall kill five whites" & "[w]e will go to the white suburbs & avenge each black life." pic.twitter.com/SyYXpD0Jua - -- Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) December 10, 2018
In a tweet on Monday, the IEC said it noted the "serious allegations against the BLF's leader".
"The commission will offer the party an opportunity to clarify its statements in the light of the values of the Constitution. We will assess the matter for an appropriate course of action after receiving a response."
Words 'taken out of context'
Mngxitama says his comments were justified, and does not see any reason why the IEC would deregister his party and give in to calls to not allow it to participate in the coming elections.
Trade union Solidarity has already requested that the IEC not allow the BLF to participate in the 2019 elections, while the DA has laid a complaint of "incitement to violence" with the police in Potchefstroom.
Mngxitama said that his words had been taken out of context and explained that he had only called for black people to defend themselves.
"It is the responsibility of the media to ensure that messages are not distorted, and are not misquoted," he said.
Mngxitama also announced that his party had asked Zimbabwe's war veterans to train his party members, seemingly gearing up for war.
#BLFpresser Mngxitama says political parties and civic organisations have lodged a"moria"of complains,and says it is unfortunate that no experts has gone to the ground to understand the statements. He says BLF is a peaceful movement & have peace with those at peace with it. --- Pelane Phakgadi (@PelaneM) December 11, 2018
He said the training would be in response to "militia white camps" aimed at "killing to protect the land".
"We are also willing to kill to get the land back, and if needs be, die for it," Mngxitama said.
He did not indicate where these camps are located.
Ramaphosa, Malema 'united' in land expropriation deception
Mngxitama also accused the ANC and the EFF of being disingenuous and using the issue of land expropriation without compensation as an electioneering slogan. He said it was clear to him that no land would be given back to those who had it stolen from them.
"Cyril Ramaphosa and Julius Malema are united in deceiving our people," he said.
#BLFPresser Mngxitama says the ANC failed to halt black on black violence "engineered by white racists" in the early 90's, and says the ANC should have "killed white people every time there was black genocide". @TeamNews24 - -- Pelane Phakgadi (@PelaneM) December 11, 2018
"If the EFF manages to persuade the ANC to amend the Constitution on land and execute the plan before elections, I'll ask for forgiveness from Malema, and I will shave off my beard and hair."
He said that the BLF had identified farms owned by white people that it would expropriate itself.
"We will not spare Johann Rupert, we know how many farms he has and we will be going to occupy them."
Rupert has at least 10 restraining orders against the BLF in an effort to halt occupation on various properties.
'We are going to Parliament '
Mngxitama said these would not deter his party members.
The BLF also indicated that it had no money, but assured its members it would raise the R600 000 needed for an IEC deposit to book the party's place on the ballot and contest the 2019 elections.
"We are going to Parliament. Our people want us there, and we are going," Mngxitama said.
"I am happy to report that we so far have R200 000, and even if they were to call for elections tomorrow, we will have enough to at least contest the national elections.
#BLFPresser BLF will open cases against johan Rupert for inciting violence and for racism. - -- Shantha Balakrishna (@ShanthaSally) December 11, 2018