BLF agrees to stop protests outside journalists' homes

2017-07-08 08:51
BLF activists wave their flag as they leave the Johannesburg High Court. (Marco Longari, AFP)

BLF activists wave their flag as they leave the Johannesburg High Court. (Marco Longari, AFP)

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Cape Town - Black First Land First has said in a public statement it will no longer protest outside the homes of journalists and “never intended to harm them in any way”.

BLF was ordered to issue a statement committing to not engaging in harassment, intimidation or threats against journalists, or coming to their homes, after the SA National Editor's Forum (Sanef) won an interdict in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Friday.

Acting Judge Corrie van der Westhuizen gave BLF 12 hours - or until midnight on Friday, to issue the statement. Sanef had threatened to lodge an urgent contempt of court application if BLF did not issue the statement in time.

There were heated scenes outside the court after the ruling with Mngxitama and members of the BLF continuing to threaten and hurl racial slurs at journalists. At the time, Sanef lawyers said the confrontation appeared to indicated that BLF did not intend to comply with the order. 

But in a statement posted to BLF’s website by its President Andile Mngxitama later on Friday titled "BLF statement as ordered by the High Court" the self described "anti racist revolutionary movement" said it would never do journalists harm.

“BLF assures the applicants that it would not, and had never intended to, harm them in any way. Our fight is with racism and BLF shall continue to use our fundamental right to protest to counter any acts of racism,” wrote Mngxitama.

This comes after BLF picketed the home of Tiso Blackstar group editor Peter Bruce on Thursday June 29. The following day, on Friday June 30, it released a statement saying it would target a list of seven “white racists that masquerade as journalists” in the “same manner which Bruce was treated”.

But in its court-ordered statement, the BLF said it welcomed the clarification that homes were no-go areas for protests. “The standard of protesting at homes of citizens was becoming a common occurrence in our society. From now on, no one shall dare launch any protest at the private homes of their adversaries.”

Mngxitama wrote that, while BLF would not protest the homes of journalists, it would still protest against white racists. He did not say where these protest would take place. The group would never protest against black people because “blacks can’t be racist”.

Read more on:    blf  |  sanef  |  andile mngxitama  |  johannesburg  |  racism  |  media

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