Is Andile Mngxitama’s ‘kill whites’ comment hate speech? HRC will investigate
Lobby group AfriForum has instructed its legal team to prepare court documents to lay a charge of hate speech against the Black First Land First leader
The South African Human Rights Commission said on Monday that it had received multitudes of complaints through its social media platforms against Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama.
"We have the complaints, but we can't prejudge. We have to subject them to a particular assessment process to determine if there are human rights violations.
"I don't want to prejudice the outcome of the assessment process," spokesperson Buang Jones said on Monday afternoon.
Mngxitama came under fire at the weekend for his latest controversial remarks about the killing of white people.
During a rally in Potchefstroom, North West, on Saturday, Mngxitama threatened to kill five white people for every 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.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who was speaking at the party's 2018 government review in parliament on Monday, condemned Mngxitama's statements.
"It must be made clear up front that Mngxitama’s recent remarks are a violation of human rights and tantamount to hate speech. On Human Rights Day, and every other day … hate speech must always be spoken out against. Mngxitama’s comments cheapen people's rights to human dignity, which is a fundamental tenet of what liberal democracy depends on," Maimane said.
[Watch] Black First Land First Movement held #MngxitamaHomecoming rally at Ikageng Stadium, Tlokwe, Potchefstroom, December 8 2018.
"This guarantee exists because we are human beings. It does not exist because we belong to a group or because we are any one individual," he added.
Lobby group AfriForum has instructed its legal team to prepare court documents to lay a charge of hate speech against Mngxitama. The court papers are expected to be filed at the equality court on Tuesday.
AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets said Mngxitama's latest remarks were "blatant hate speech and incitement of violence", and that the organisation would "fight it with the necessary earnestness".
In the court documents, AfriForum said it would request that Mngxitama be ordered to pay R500,000 to an organisation campaigning towards battling hate speech.
BLF has since defended its president, saying he had been speaking in the context of self-defence. It was believed that Mngxitama 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 chair of the taxi association.
Rupert said: “[Eskom chair] Jabu [Mabuza] and I have one thing in common: He’s chairman of the [South African Black] Taxi Association and one of the first [partners] in Business Partners was the taxi association. So I also have my own army. When those red guys [EFF supporters] come, they’re going to have to remember the taxi association.”
The clip can be seen here.
Business Partners is the company the Ruperts started in 1981 to support small businesses.
Mabuza was involved with the South African 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 industry would protect him from the red berets. This, according to BLF spokesperson Lindsay 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.”
Johan Rupert thinks he can repeat the black on black violence of the 80s. No we wont fight the taxi bosses he is paying. We will go to white suburbs and avenge each black life the taxi bosses take. That's deal!— andile (@Mngxitama) December 9, 2018
In a separate hate speech case against the BLF, the human rights commission's Jones said the matter was expected to be before the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on January 29.
"We are just waiting for BLF leadership to obtain legal representation so that we can proceed to trial."