BLF fails to comply with court order

2017-07-08 18:31
FILE: Black First Land First (BLF) members outside an Absa branch at Gandhi Square during a picket to force Absa to pay back the money. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

FILE: Black First Land First (BLF) members outside an Absa branch at Gandhi Square during a picket to force Absa to pay back the money. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

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Pretoria - The SA National Editor's Forum (Sanef) has through their lawyers given Black First, Land First (BLF) until 10:00 on Sunday to send out a revised statement after failing to comply with the court order in at least two aspects, according to the forum.

On Friday, Judge Corrie van der Westhuizen ruled in the South Gauteng High Court that BLF and their leader Andile Mngxitama was interdicted from intimidating, assaulting journalists and going to their homes.

Van Der Westhuizen further made a court order that the BLF issue a statement in which the organisation clearly stipulates that it does not condone actions of intimidation; harassment; assaults; threats; coming to their homes; or acting in any manner that would constitute an infringement of any journalist’s personal liberty.

As well as clearly stating that the BLF does not condone threatening or intimidating gestures on social media, including on their website individual twitter pages that references any violence, harm and threats against journalists.

In the court ordered statement, BLF assured all applicants that the organisation would not, and had never intended to, harm them in anyway.

“Our fight is with racism and BLF shall continue to use our fundamental right to protest to counter any acts of racism. Only the end of racism shall ensure enduring peace for all in a just society where all citizens shall have equal substantive rights,” the statement read.

“BLF reserves its rights to protest as per the rights quaranteed (sic) in the Constitution. Our protest will be directed at racists and never at black people because blacks can’t be racist – even those who we may consider as being aids to white supremacy have immunity from any protest.”

Sanef, through their lawyers demanded that the BLF and Mngxitama publish a revised public statement that unequivocally declares that they do not condone or sanction acts of intimidation, harassment, assault, threats, going to the homes of journalists, or acting in any manner that would constitute an infringement of the personal liberty of journalists; and threatening or intimidating gestures on social media, including on the BLF website and individual twitter pages of BLF members that references any violence, harm and threats.

“The revised statement must be published by 10h00 tomorrow, 9 July 2017,” said the lawyer’s letter.

Sanef lodged an urgent interdict against BLF and Mngxithama, following threats made to several journalists, the alleged assault of editor of Business Day Tim Cohen as well as acts of intimidation after a small group of members gather Tiso Blackstar editor at large Peter Bruce’s house in Johannesburg last week.

During last Thursday's protest the words "Land or death" had been written on Bruce's garage as placards carried by demonstrators read "Peter you murder the truth" and "Peter propagandist of WMC".

Read more on:    blf  |  sanef  |  andile mngxitama  |  politics  |  media

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