Deplatfrom Black First Land First (BLF)

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Black First Land First (BLF) is a revolutionary socialist and black nationalist political party in South Africa founded by Andile Mngxitama in 2015 following his expulsion from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). Since then, BLF has purported itself to be the vanguard of “revolutionary action” it deems necessary to address the legacies of apartheid largely responsible for the socio-economic and racial inequalities experienced in South Africa today. In doing so, the BLF has made South Africa’s minority white population a key target of attack in its campaigns on a series of political issues from the structure of the economy to land reform. In an effort to “out-radicalise” its predecessor, the BLF has become the forerunner of blatant racist political rhetoric aimed towards South Africa’s white minority population that has increasingly become fashionable in political circles and online communities of BLF and EFF members/supporters alike.

To illustrate the BLF’s impact and threat to South Africa’s white minority population, in 2016 the party became a key propagator of the Gupta* hired Bell Pottinger online campaign aimed at stirring racial division and marginalisation of the white population in South Africa. The term “white monopoly capital” (WMC) came to form part of a narrative blaming the white minority for the increasing socio-economic inequality suffered largely by South Africa’s majority black population. With the help of the BLF’s online racist populist rhetoric, white monopoly capital” successfully moved from an online campaign to being part of South Africa’s political discourse to the extent that it even formed part of the ruling party’s policy agenda.

Although the term “white monopoly capital” has seemingly dwindled, the campaign caused irreparable damage to South Africa’s social cohesion project towards what now seems like an unreachable goal of a “rainbow nation”. Emboldened by the BLF, the depiction of a “white enemy” has increasingly come inform government policies, with recent debates surrounding the issue of white land ownership. As campaigns concerning murders of white farmers continues to gain local and international attention, Andile Mngxitama on the 8th of December made a call to kill white people, including women, children and their pets. With the recent racially motivated assault on a lawyer at the Johannesburg High Court by BLF members, it’s impossible to imagine Andile’s statements will have no impact on the behaviour of his members (or disgruntled individuals) moving forward.

Hate speech, racism and violence should not be tolerated. This is a call to deplatform the BLF (@BLF_SouthAfrica) and its leaders Andile Mngxitama (President): @MngxitamaAndile, Zanele Lwana (Deputy President): @ZaneleLwana, and Lindsay Maasdorp (National Spokesperson): @BLF_Lindsay from Twitter and other forms of social media platforms it finds itself. The party has demonstrated its effective use of social media to target and discriminate against South Africa’s minority white population, and like any distributors of radical propagandistic material, the BLF and its leaders MUST be deplatformed.

*A prominent Indian family known as the Guptas acquired strategic influence in the appointment of senior South African government officials for the purposes of their interests. The Guptas hired a British public relations firm, Bell Pottinger, to launch a racially divisive campaign promoting false narratives around what became known as “white monopoly capital” to redirect the narrative away from their corrupt activities with the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC). This continues to be the largest corruption scandal in the history of South Africa.