Solidarity says it has received opposing court papers from BLF president, Andile Mngxitama, following a complaint Solidarity filed with the Equality Court against the party on 14 February 2019.
This complaint was filed when BLF spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp had celebrated the death of four learners who died in the Driehoek school disaster, having said in effect that the tragedy served as appropriate punishment for white people and their children.
According to Anton van der Bijl, Solidarity’s Head of Labour Law Services, the BLF argues in its affidavit that it would be reasonable for black persons not to have empathy with white people’s pain. Mngxitama also states in the affidavit that Maasdorp’s remark should be seen in the light of the pain black persons experience on a daily basis as a result of the privilege every white person received because of colonialism.
He further confirmed that black people could not be racist and that the application, therefore, won’t succeed. “The fact that he said that, confirms just how extremely racist his comments are and that his statements must be condemned with the full force of the law,” Van der Bijl said.
Van der Bijl argued that the affidavit gave the BLF a golden opportunity to apologise to the parents of the victims of the Driehoek school tragedy for the statements made by the BLF, but the party chose to use this opportunity to find excuses for being racist and for being permitted to be racist. “Although we support freedom of speech, the BLF has gone too far, and there is little doubt in my mind that they do not reflect the viewpoint of the vast majority of the South African public,” Van der Bijl concluded.