TSHWANE, July 19 – Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama on Wednesday said his organisation is gearing up for extensive land grabs across South Africa, which will be intensified next year.
“Black people are landless, we don’t have the land. We are just taking small pieces here and there but we are now taking more and more. You will see that the campaign is going to intensify, 31st December is the night when we are going to make sure that we are ready. We are setting up land expropriation committees across the nation, identifying white stolen land,” Mngxitama told reporters in Pretoria.
“We are going to move in. So you will see in the beginning of January 2018, massive land occupation. But even this Saturday, we are having a land occupation in Ekurhuleni, so that is continuing. This is just part of the rehearsals and we are setting up a college of agriculture to teach our people how to do land [farm] in an alternative fashion.”
Mngxitama said his organisation has been served with a letter of demand from the “racist, extremist, criminal organisation called AfriForum” ordering them to stop making the threats of taking back the land.
“AfriForum is a bunch of land thieves. In fact, with the way they are continuing, I will organise to make sure that they leave this country. We are not going to allow land thieves such as AfriForum to try to bully us again using the courts. When have received a letter of demand from their lawyers saying we must refrain from saying we demand and we’re going to take the land. That’s absolute nonsense,” said Mngxitama.
Accompanied by other BLF leaders, including his deputy Zanele Lwana, Mngxitama addressed journalists at the Competition Commission, shortly after a closed door meeting Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.
“One of the many important questions we discussed with the commissioner relates to penalties of companies that have been found to be involved in corrupt activities. We raised the issue of the 10 percent which is currently prescribed by law of their turnover. That 10 percent is the maximum that the commission can impose and as BLF we are agitating for 100 percent of annual turnover, and not just of the last year,” said Mngxitama.
“We had a very detailed conversation about the need to change the law with regards to that matter. We are going to push hard, talk to parliamentarians and others to make sure that this matter is resolved.”
He said the BLF was also campaigning for corrupt or colluding companies to be held personally liable for the crimes.
“These people hide behind the firms. For example the construction cartel, they stole from us around the FIFA World Cup. They were just so happy to pay the 10 percent and they were involved in the collision. Let us call it corruption because white corruption is called collusion in this country. We also discussed this. Those white managers who stole billions from our people just paid a bit of money and they were let scot-free,” said Mngxitama.
“Now the law says they us be held accountable, but as BLF we had come to inform the commissioner Bonakele that we are undertaking criminal charges against the 17 banks that the commission said are involved in corruption.”
Regarding the South Gauteng High Court interdict, issued earlier this month, barring the BLF from intimidating and threatening journalists, Mngxitama said the battle wasn’t lost.
“We have lost no battle. Any racist journalist out there, who we discover that they have been racist, we will deal with them. There is no battle lost here. The battle continues, in fact, the battle has just started. Show is any racist and you will see us dealing with that racist very fast. Racism must come to an end now. No one must feel comfortable that the court decision said racists have the right to be racist,” said Mngxitama.
The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) had lodged the urgent application for an interdict against BLF amid a spate of attacks on and intimidation against reporters by BLF supporters.