BLF storms into Absa after Sanef interdict bid
BLACK FIRST Land First (BLF) used yesterday’s court appearance to kill two birds with one stone.
After arguing that it had the right to protest against biased and racist reports by journalists, BLF members stormed into the Absa building on Gandhi Square in the Joburg CBD.
In the high court in Joburg, the SA National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) filed an application for an urgent interdict against Andile Mngxitama and the BLF, following recent instances of alleged intimidation and assault of journalists.
In her affidavit, political analyst Karima Brown stated that she was assaulted and not protected by the police during a demonstration by BLF members at the home of Tiso Blackstar editor-in-chief Peter Bruce on June 29.
“Journalists running to court is abuse of the law. They are saying they will go to court because they don’t trust the SAPS,” said BLF’s Brandon Tshabangu.
Tshabangu stated that the application should not be considered urgent because there had been only one protest and no other violent acts following that. When questioned by Judge Corrie van der Westhuizen on the various tweets intending harm on journalists, Tshabangu stated that the BLF was not associated with these tweets.
He claimed that they were the opinions of ordinary citizens.
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, for Sanef, argued that the court had an obligation to step in and stop criminal acts.
“BLF’s brand of protest is a brand of criminality. Why must the court wait for another journalist to be assaulted before it acts?”
Judge Van der Westhuizen dismissed Tshabangu’s motion that the case was not urgent. The court was set to deliver judgment at noon today.
Outside the court, Mngxitama expressed a lack of trust in white people and questioned whether Judge Van der Westhuizen would show them fairness in today’s court ruling.
Mngxitama said: “We subscribe to freedom of the press. We subscribe to freedom of expression. But we will not subscribe to anyone promoting racism and covering up corruption of white monopoly capital.”
Led by Mngxitama, the BLF marched from the high court into the streets of the CBD, singing Struggle songs. On arrival at Gandhi Square, members stormed into the Absa building demanding that it be shut down.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane last week recommend that government take legal action to recover over R1 billion as part of the funds unlawfully given to Absa during apartheid.
“We want our money back,” said Mngxitama. “Let us be here tomorrow at 12 o’clock.”
The court, however, issued a late interdict against the BLF marching to Absa.
BLF’s brand of protest is a brand of criminality