BLF supporters outside the commission of inquiry in Parktown. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
BLF supporters outside the commission of inquiry in Parktown. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Nelson Mandela’s great grandson Mayibuye Mandela has used Mandela Day to call on black people to support Andile Mngxitama’s Black First Land First (BLF).

This comes after the controversial organisation made an application for leave to appeal against the decision by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) to deregister it as a political party. The IEC this week agreed with the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) that the BLF should be deregistered as it excluded white people from membership.

The BLF immediately applied for leave to appeal against the IEC ruling.

LISTEN | BLF vs FF+ a battle of political will

On Thursday Mayibuye Mandela’s Vukani Community Development Organisation called for black solidarity against the BLF deregistration.

Vukani is a pro-black nonprofit organisation started and chaired by Mandela to fund development projects in the black community and black political parties such as the BLF.

Vukani’s statement called for “principled black unity to advance the fight to end suffering”, saying the BLF was an “important organisation that represents black interests”.

“The enemy remains united behind the FF+ to ban the BLF. This situation represents a new opportunity to forge black unity. Responding to this call will show that the BLF is not alone as it faces the likes of the FF+, AfriForum and the rest of the white supremacists,” said Mandela.

He accused the IEC of “criminalising blackness” by banning the BLF, and the FF+ of being racist “like all other white interests who are terrified of the BLF entering parliament”.

“To defeat the enemy we need to be united. The enemy has thus far cultivated our differences and used it to divide us,” said Mandela.

“This is time to rally behind the BLF. The illegal IEC decision against the BLF suggests that it is an agent of white monopoly capital effectively assisting the likes of FF+ to maintain white capture of the land and the economy via parliament. If it does not self-correct, it will isolate itself from the interests of black people.”

The great-grandson of the struggle icon said Vukani’s call for BLF support did not require one to be a member of Mngxitama’s party, vote for it or even agree with everything it says or does, but was a call for “principled unity” in protection of the BLF.

“It’s Mandela Day. It’s a historic moment to start showing our solidarity with BLF against the FF+ that represents white interests,” he said.

Mandela caused a stir when he told TimesLIVE on the eve of the May 8 elections that he would put a cross next to the BLF in the provincial ballot and vote for the ANC in the national ballot. After the publication of the story, Mngxitama personally called him and thanked him for voting BLF.

But the controversial far-left black nationalist party dismally failed in the election, falling short of gaining even one seat in parliament. Mngxitama blamed the media for his party’s poor performance as well as his detractors for having wasted his campaigning time by dragging him and his party to court.