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BLF claims it has no money to pay legal costs as cases pile up

The group was in the Equality Court on Tuesday in the matter between itself and a complainant represented by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

FILE: BLF members protest outside The Gathering - Media Edition at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 3 August 2017. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Black First Land First (BLF) movement says it has no money for legal representation in its court battles.

The group was in the Equality Court on Tuesday in the matter between itself and a complainant represented by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

The complainant has accused the BLF of using hate speech.

The BLF says that groups and people who have taken them to court over various incidents are opportunistic as they know that they cannot afford legal representation.

Deputy president Zanele Lwana explains: “It is a lot of money to pay for legal representation in this country. We already have an overwhelming amount of legal costs from racists, including AfriForum, who want to see our movement destroyed and punished through legal costs.”

She has accused the Human Rights Commission of being biased for offering legal assistance to the complainant in a hate speech case.

The SAHRC hasn't responded to these claims yet. However, while the movement has expressed that it will be contesting next year's elections with their financial woes, it’s unclear how they will afford the R500,000 registration fee.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)