Sanef vs BLF: Battle for media freedom

2017-07-06 21:04
Andile Mngxitama expresses his views during a discussion about 'state capture'. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

Andile Mngxitama expresses his views during a discussion about 'state capture'. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

BLF's fate is now in the hands of a white judge - Mngxitama

2017-07-06 14:48

Sanef has successfully made a case at the Johannesburg High Court for urgency in the BLF matter, with judgement being handed down on Friday. BLF leader Andile Mngxitama responds outside court. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - In the battle for media freedom it was a war of words when journalists faced off with the leaders of the "political party" Black First Land First (BLF).

The two groups met at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday morning where the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) had lodged an urgent interdict against BLF and its leader Andile Mngxitama.

The case was before Judge Corrie van der Westhuizen.

Sanef wants BLF to stop harassing, intimidating, assaulting and threatening journalists.

The court room was packed with veteran journalists including Ferial Haffajee, Sanef chairperson Mahlatse Gallens, News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson, News24 investigating reporter Pieter-Louis Myburgh and political analyst Karima Brown.

AS IT HAPPENED: Sanef successfully makes case for urgency in BLF matter

Heckling, laughing

Supporters of BLF were constantly heckling and laughing during court proceedings.

Arguments intensified in court as both sides argued for and against media freedom.

Tembeka Ngcukaitobi representing Sanef argued that BLF wanted to tell journalists what to write.

He told the court that criticism of journalism should happen on journalistic platforms, not through physical attacks.

Ngcukaitobi also argued that no one was allowed to assault journalists irrespective of what they write about the Gupta family or President Jacob Zuma.

"Stop them from committing crimes... we don't know how this can aggravate further," he said.

He also told the court that was allegedly assaulted by BLF in the presence of the police. She was later blamed by the police for provoking BLF.

But Brandon Tshabangu, for BLF and Mngxitama, said when Brown was allegedly assaulted she should have gone to the police and not to the courts.

'White judge'

He also said following "racist" journalists home was allowed, but Judge Van der Westhuizen said journalists are individuals at their homes.

Tshabangu argued that freedom of expression does not only apply to journalists and that it was also about BLF's freedom to air views.

Judgment was reserved until Friday July 7 at 12:00.

Following court proceedings, Mngxitama told reporters outside court that their fate was now "in a white judge".

"As Black First Land First we do not have any trust in any white person," he said.

Meanwhile, pastor Nonqaba Mosunkutu, who came to support journalists in court told News24 that she sat and watched as Brown was insulted by one of the BLF members during court proceedings.

"I am here to support the journalists - we cannot afford the harassment of individual journalists, more especially at their private homes.

"I must say that journalists are doing well. They write what they are supposed to write because they are professional in any case," Mosunkutu said.

Brown confirmed to News24 a woman tried to intimidate her in court as she "put her foot on the bench and her foot kept on pressing into my back".

She said the woman verbally attacked her.

Read more on:    blf  |  sanef  |  johannesburg  |  media freedom  |  media  |  judiciary

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/World
 

For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.

 
 

Paws

Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.