Karima Brown vs EFF: IEC probes Brown's complaint as general elections loom

2019-03-11 17:44
Karima Brown (Supplied)

Karima Brown (Supplied)

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The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) has confirmed it is investigating a complaint which veteran journalist Karima Brown lodged against the EFF.

Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo told Brown in a letter that the commission received her complaint against the party and its leader, Julius Malema.

"I have remitted the complaint to our Office for Electoral Offences for investigation and whether in fact, the circumstances complained of constitute transgressions to the Electoral Code of Conduct. We will revert to you upon the conclusion of the investigation," he said.

The letter follows Brown's recent comment that she was consulting her lawyers about reporting the EFF to the Electoral Court for alleged misconduct and intimidation following a WhatsApp message she sent on a political group.

She had also opened a case of intimidation against the party and its leaders at the Rosebank police station in Johannesburg, which was under investigation.

Brown seemingly posted an editorial brief in an EFF media WhatsApp group after the party posted an invitation to an EFF "Breakfast With The Elderly" function, which was scheduled for last week.

Brown responded: "Keep an eye out for this. Who are these elders. Are they all male and how are they chosen. Keep watching brief (sic)," News24 previously reported.

READ: Malema under fire from global journalism watchdog for Karima Brown tweet

Malema tweeted a screenshot of the message, accusing her of "sending moles" to the event. Her cellphone number was visible in the screenshot. 

Brown said she then received rape threats from and was intimidated by EFF supporters after the tweet made her cellphone number public.

The EFF leader defended the post when he spoke to journalists at the "Breakfast with the Elderly" event. He said he doubted that EFF supporters were harassing Brown. 

An EFF statement, which was released later, labelled Brown an "ANC operative" who was "not a real journalist".

According to the IEC's Handbook on Electoral Offences, all registered parties were bound by the Electoral Code of Conduct and had to instruct its candidates, political office bearers, members and supporters to comply with the code and any applicable electoral laws.

The code makes provision for the role of the media and parties have to ensure journalists "are not subjected to harassment, intimidation, hazard, threat or physical assault by any of their representatives or supporters".

Under prohibited conduct, it states that no party may use language or act in a way to provoke violence during an election.

Read more on:    iec  |  eff  |  karima brown  |  politics
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