The Freedom Front Plus wants Black First Land First to be deregistered as a political party and has approached the Electoral Court to declare the BLF’s registration invalid.
At issue is the BLF’s membership policy – black people only.
The BLF’s constitution states that the membership of the party is open to “any black person who has reached the age of 18 [and] accepts the politics, ideological perspective and constitution of the BLF”.
The FF Plus argues this is a breach of the country’s constitution and of the Electoral Commission Act.
In terms of section 16 of the act, the IEC may not register a political party that excludes people on the basis of race, colour or ethnicity, while section 1 of the constitution of the republic states that the South African state is based on four core values, of which non-racialism is one.
“This makes clear that the IEC has made a big mistake. The FF Plus asks the court to rectify this error,” FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said on Monday morning.
His party approached the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein on Monday to declare the BLF’s registration as a political party as irregular, illegal and invalid and to ensure that the party doesn’t participate in the upcoming elections.
“We are of the opinion that the electoral commission made a mistake by allowing the BLF to register in terms of legislation,” said Groenewald.
He said the IEC’s chief executive officer, Sy Mamabolo, acknowledged in a letter to the FF Plus that the Electoral Commission Act, which regulates registration and deregistration of parties, does give certain powers to the IEC in this regard. But the party disagrees and says the IEC’s “excuse” is unacceptable.
Groenewald sought to defend what he called “perceptions” that the FF Plus was also advancing interests of white people.
“We do not apologise for the fact that we say we must do away with BEE and affirmative action. But we don’t say it must only be for whites,” he said.
He said they had previously defended the rights of “brown” people and not just whites.
Groenewald said: “I think you make a big mistake by saying we are in the same bracket as the BLF. We are just the opposite. Nowhere in our constitution do we say white people may become members of the FF Plus. At this moment we have councillors who are not white people, they are brown people and I can inform you that in the 2016 election I had two black candidates, one in Soshanguve and one in Mafikeng.”
FF Plus MP Wouter Wessels said the party’s manifesto proposed solutions to restore racial relations in the country, including getting rid of racial classification, black economic empowerment and quotas “which reduced people only to a skin colour”.
“Our manifesto makes it very clear that we do acknowledge the past did create to a large extent inequality and that there should be empowerment to address that. But the proxy for that empowerment should be socio-economic circumstances, poverty, lack of access to quality education and empowerment should occur through growth and through development and not through racial classification,” he added.https://newsoweto.co.za/blf-to-be-deregistered-as-a-political-party-over-blacks-only-membership-ff-plus/https://newsoweto.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/unnamed-7.jpghttps://newsoweto.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/unnamed-7-150x150.jpgPoliticsFF PLUS BLF