- Helen Zille says that parts of the media actually helped the EFF rise in prominence
- She also took issue with Sanef's case against the EFF
- Zilla says that Sanef is attempting to limit the party's freedom of speech
Former DA leader and Western Cape premier Helen Zille says that the EFF rose to prominence in part because of positive coverage it received from certain segments of the media.
"For the longest time, the 'woke' media actually built up the EFF with what can only be described as 'fawning' coverage," Zille said.
However, Zille says that the EFF has now turned on many of the journalists who once favoured the party.
Zille made the comments on Twitter on Wednesday, Briefly.co.za has gathered. This comes after she published a column in which she weighed in on the current court case between Sanef (the South African National Editors' Forum) and the EFF.
Sanef wants the courts to declare some of Juluis Malema's verbal attacks on various journalists - including Karima Brown - as hate speech.
In the column, Zille suggests that, if Sanef is successful, "the media will have been complicit" in limiting Julius Malema and the Red Berets' freedom of speech, according to The Citizen. Zille called this the "most fundamental right in a democracy, except for the right to life itself".
She also dismissed Sanef's claim that Malema's comments amounted to hate speech, pointing out that the EFF leader explicitly told his supporters not to use violence.
Some have taken issue with Zille's stance, however. Daily Maverick associate editor Ferial Haffajee, for example, accused Zille of using the language of "Europe's growing far-right and America's neoconservatives".
Haffajee argues that Sanef's case against Malema is not an attempt to silence the EFF, but rather is aimed at ensuring media freedom.
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