AfriBusiness trumps BLF in court

AfriBusiness has made an application for an interdict against Black First Land First (BLF) to prohibit them from inciting people to commit the crimes of trespassing and mass illegal land invasions. The North Gauteng High Court today granted the interdict and ruled that BLF, Andile Mngxitama, its Leader, and Zanele Lwana, Spokesperson, must refrain from inciting the public to commit these crimes. The court also ordered that BLF pay the costs at attorney-and-client scale (including the cost of two counsels) of AfriBusiness’s application.

“We are very pleased that the court granted the interdict against BLF and will continue to hold organisations who make themselves guilty of similar illegal acts of incitement accountable. We have walked the same route with the EFF, which made similar proclamations about land grabbing. The message should therefore be clear: No matter who you are or what your organisation stands for, you will be held accountable for the things you say in public,” says Armand Greyling, Law and Policy Analyst at AfriBusiness.

AfriBusiness approached the court for an interdict after the business rights watchdog became aware of media reports and statements made by BLF that incited people to illegally invade and occupy land. The so-called Land Now Declaration which the BLF launched on 27 May 2017 in Soweto for example has a racist undertone and concludes with the words “Take back the land! Land or Death!”. In June 2017 during an interview on Radio Sonder Grense (RSG), Lwana also called for mass land invasions on air. BLF has furthermore stated that it would facilitate mass land invasions during January 2018, leaving AfriBusiness with no other choice than to intervene in order to protect constitutional property rights.