SANEF ( South African National Editors’ Forum) has filed a complaint at the Equality Court against the Economic Freedom Fighters as well as its leader Julius Malema in an attempt to halt threats and harassment directed at journalists
In a statement, the organisation SANEF has said that they do not take the decision to take legal action against the EFF party and it's leader lightly.
They said that they believe in the ‘South African’ way of settling disputes around a table, but had been unsuccessful in obtaining a meeting with Malema and other EFF leaders about what they view as hate speech.
SANEF is approaching the court under the banner of protecting the freedom of the media and seeking security for journalists against the threats and intimidation tactics the party’s leaders and supporters have been hurling at them.
A part of the statement outlining the aim of the organisation's legal action:
SANEF has now turned to the courts to ask for protection. We are requesting the Equality Court to interdict Mr. Malema and the EFF from:
· Intimidating, harassing, threatening or assaulting any journalist;
· Publishing personal information of any journalist;
· Expressly or tacitly endorsing the intimidation and harassment of journalists by supporters or followers on social media or on public platforms;
· Expressly or tacitly endorsing the publication of personal information by supporters or followers on public platforms or on social media.
Furthermore, we have also asked the court to direct Mr. Malema and the EFF to publicly denounce the harassment and abuse of journalists and to call on their supporters to cease intimidating and threatening journalists.
We are also asking for an apology from Mr. Malema and the EFF to the individual journalists who have been targeted as well as to journalists in general, coupled with a recognition of the constitutionally protected role played by journalists in our society.
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