Today the South Gauteng High Court was a place of drama. Judge Mokgoatlheng who was scheduled to hand down judgement in the hate speech case brought before the Court by Solidarity and Bereaved Families against Black First Land First (BLF), Lindsay Maasdorp and Zwelakhe Dubasi.
Instead of handing down judgement the Judge asked the applicants and the respondents to address him on the judgement of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). Solidarity reasoned that the judge must disregard that judgement because it does not apply retrospectively. BLF, represented by its President, Andile Mngxitama, argued that the court was compelled by the decision of the SCA and therefore couldn’t rely on section 10 of the Equality Act.
The Judge during the period of hearing arguments from the parties displayed open hostility towards BLF and did everything to try and help the applicants. At this point the BLF President forcibly asked the court to stop protecting land thieves.
The Court subsequently adjourned for almost two hours and upon resumption, declared: “this judgement is a nullity in view of the SCA judgement in the John Qwelane case…”. The Judge inscribed these words on the face of the judgement and handed it to both parties.
In terms of the judgement (which is now a nullity and therefore a victory for BLF) a harsh order was made against particularly Maasdorp and Dubasi. They were ordered to apologize to the four Driehoek families; pay each of the four families R50 000; and pay the costs. High Court costs incurred in other matters by BLF, have on average amounted to around R300 000.
BLF claims victory against its opponents today. However, this doesn’t mean that our movement has regained any confidence in the judiciary. Judge Mokgoatlheng had to grudgingly declare his punitive judgement a nullity because BLF insisted that he be impartial.
After the judgement was handed down, Advocate Groenewald representing Solidarity was heard saying to Cde Mngxitama, “your bullying tactics worked”. Cde Mngxitama responded by saying “ons kom vir die grond!”
Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)
3 December 2019
Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]
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