Centre for Unity in Diversity welcomes Sanef court victory

2017-07-07 18:42
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)

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Johannesburg - The Centre for Unity in Diversity (CUD) and the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR) at the FW de Klerk Foundation welcomed the South Gauteng High Court's urgent interdict against Black First Land First (BLF) and its founder, Andile Mngxitama, on Friday.

"Threats to media freedom and the rule of law must be vigorously resisted and the victory of Sanef [SA National Editors Forum] must be lauded and supported from all quarters," CUD director Zohra Dawood said in a statement.

Sanef won its court battle against Black First Land First and Mngxitama, after Judge Corrie van der Westhuizen ruled that BLF is interdicted from intimidating, assaulting journalists and going to their homes.

There were heated scenes outside the court immediately after the ruling with Mngxitama and members of the BLF continuing to threaten and hurl racial slurs at journalists and editors.

"This contravention of the order and effective contempt of the courts requires serious legal sanction against Mngxitama and members of BLF," Dawood said.

WATCH: 'White people are going to die with you,' shouts BLF after losing in court

Secretly-taken photographs

Dawood added that the editors and journalists attacked by BLF were linked by their continuous reporting of state capture.

Sanef had lodged an urgent interdict against BLF and Mngxitama, asking the organisation to stop harassing, intimidating, assaulting and threatening journalists.

Last week, the editor of Business Day Tim Cohen was reportedly assaulted as he attempted to take a picture of BLF supporters who had gathered outside Tiso Blackstar editor-at-large Peter Bruce's house in Johannesburg.

Bruce had been the subject of a series of articles and secretly-taken photographs relating to his private life.

He wrote a column in Business Day about the surveillance and mentioned Mngxitama as a "luckless land reformer", who had tweeted to him, "You going to get a heart attack Peter; better prepare yourself", before the surveillance footage and personal information was published on a site complaining about "White Monopoly Capital (WMC)".

During last Thursday's (June 29) protest, the words "Land or death" were written on Bruce's garage, and placards carried by demonstrators read "Peter you murder the truth" and "Peter propagandist of WMC".

The applicants with Sanef included:

  • Business Day editor Tim Cohen;
  • Tiso Blackstar editor-at-large Peter Bruce;
  • Amabhungane investigative journalist Sam Sole;
  • News24 editor Adriaan Basson;
  • EWN journalist and political commentator Stephen Grootes;
  • Columnist Max du Preez;
  • EWN reporter Barry Bateman;
  • Karima Brown;
  • Political commentator and talk show host Eusebius McKaiser;
  • Huffington Post editor-at-large Ferial Haffajee; and
  • Primedia Group editor-in-chief Katy Katopodis.
Read more on:    blf  |  andile mngxitama  |  johannesburg  |  media freedom  |  media

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