AS IT HAPPENED: #SANEFvsEFF - 'It's their conduct that brings harassment and intimidation' - Manchu says of EFF

2019-08-06 13:30

The matter over the intimidation of journalists brought by the South African National Editors' Forum against the EFF continues in the Equality Court, sitting in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.


EFF leader Julius Malema addressing supporters

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Last Updated at 14:39
06 Aug 15:36
Judgement is reserved.

06 Aug 15:35
What we seek to interdict is their conduct because it's their conduct that brings about the intimidation and harassment, Manchu says.

06 Aug 15:32
The fact that the respondents couldn't answer the allegation that Munsamy was confronted at a shopping centre don't go to the core. The statements are relevant. There are more damning statements, Munchu says.

06 Aug 15:12
Sections referring to the structure of Sanef, forum has the right to suing and being sued in its own name, that’s all it says, not how it is to be given effect – Manchu argues.

06 Aug 15:09
[Manchu to your ladyship] your ladyship is empowered to consider whether this matter should be before the Equality Court, and if not, to refer to be considered by High Court.

06 Aug 14:59
The evidence before you demonstrates harassment as prohibited in Section 11, hate speech prohibited in section 10. Manchu suggest interdicting these unlawful acts.

06 Aug 14:35

Moving on to affidavit of Pauli van Wyk.

Manchu: Article concerning VBS, critical of the EFF, is the relevance of it.

06 Aug 14:28

06 Aug 14:21
What is the metaphorical meaning we’re supposed to understand? Manchu asks.

06 Aug 14:19
On Malema's tweets: Statement could be construed to demonstrate clear intention to be hurtful, harmful, and to propagate hatred, says, Manchu.

06 Aug 14:15

06 Aug 14:11

Court resumes. Sanef's advocate Tebogo Manchu responds to arguments.

06 Aug 13:34


06 Aug 12:52

With that, court adjourns for lunch. Proceedings are expected to resume at 14:00.

06 Aug 12:51

Premhid concludes by arguing that all the affidavits and annexures attached to the submission "do nothing further to this matter, do nothing insofar as allowing your ladyship to properly exercise her discretion. And so in consequence, deserve to be struck out as your ladyship would strike out matters in any other kind of case that your ladyship is called upon to adjudicate".

Premhid: "That it may be an Equality Court matter, that it might have highly emotive underlying subject matter is irrelevant. The rules of court are incorporated into this matter, the strike-out application is before your ladyship, and your ladyship must strike out. Respectfully, it's as simple as that." 

06 Aug 12:28

06 Aug 12:12

Advocate Kameel Premhid, another legal representative for the EFF, is currently addressing the court on the back of Ngcukaitobi's arguments.

06 Aug 12:06

Ngcukaitobi concludes his arguments.

06 Aug 12:03

06 Aug 12:02

Ngcukaitobi says the EFF and Malema are equally "appalled" by Twitter trolls harassing journalists, says the trolls are abusive towards the EFF as well.

Ngcukaitobi earlier argued that these "faceless" trolls could and should have been summoned to court by their Twitter handles.

06 Aug 11:59

06 Aug 11:59

Ngcukaitobi argues for the application by Sanef to be dismissed.

06 Aug 11:54

06 Aug 11:54

06 Aug 11:48

06 Aug 11:48

"To try and silence the EFF, serves no one," says Ngcukaitobi, who argues that the EFF is being made into a punching bag while those with real power rest comfortably. Ngcukaitobi says the EFF holds power to account.

06 Aug 11:46

06 Aug 11:45

06 Aug 11:43

Ngcukaitobi once again makes reference to Malema and the EFF's policy of "superior logic". 

06 Aug 11:42

06 Aug 11:42

Ngcukaitobi mentions the tweets from "nameless, faceless" accounts alleged to be associated with the EFF.

06 Aug 11:40

06 Aug 11:40

Malema has arrived at court to follow proceedings.

06 Aug 11:39

We return from the short break, and Advocate Ngcukaitobi continues his arguments on behalf of the EFF, still currently focusing on tweets by Malema, as well as other Twitter accounts supposedly associated with the EFF. 

06 Aug 11:16

Proceedings adjourn for the morning tea break.

06 Aug 11:15

Ngcukaitobi, still on the issue of Malema's tweets, says any tweets liked by Malema or even retweeted by him, does not necessarily mean that Malema endorses it. Ngcukaitobi argues that Malema retweets tweets that he both agrees and disagrees with. Particular mention is made of a tweet by Black First Land First (BLF) leader, Andile Mngxitama, who was the person who originally tweeted something that was brought into question, and not Malema. 

06 Aug 10:58

06 Aug 10:57

Ngcukaitobi argues that some of the statements and tweets by Malema, which were read out in court yesterday and labelled as "hate speech", are in fact not hate speech, but rather "insults". There is a difference, Ngcukaitobi argues. 

Ngcukaitobi says journalists often engage in conversations on Twitter, which is not strictly associated with the media as such, and Malema merely has joined this discourse, with his tweets. 

Ngcukaitobi mentions one of the tweets on which emphasis was placed (a reply to Pauli van Wyk), which reads "You are sick. Go to hell Satan."

Ngcukaitobi: "Of course, that could be construed crude, that could be construed insulting, and of course it could be construed as even offensive. But it's not hate speech under Section 10 of the Equality Act. It's certainly not the hate speech that the applicants are contending for, which is discrimination on the grounds of profession."

Ngcukaitobi: "It's not hate speech; it's an insult. And it is absolutely essential to draw these distinctions, and they have been drawn for us, luckily, by the Supreme Court of Appeal."

06 Aug 10:33

Ngcukaitobi argues that Malema is opposed to violence, and therefore would not incite violence among his followers.

Ngcukaitobi says Malema "expressly explains what the position of the EFF is on violence". 

Ngcukaitobi, quoting Malema: "Violence is for those who are empty in the head. The EFF thrives on superior logic..."

Ngcukaitobi says from Malema's tweets, it is evident that Malema is "expressly opposed to violence".

06 Aug 10:27

06 Aug 10:25

Advocate Ngcukaitobi, for the EFF, is quoting case history and legal precedent to support the arguments of the EFF that they have done nothing wrong, as far as the content of their statements are concerned.

06 Aug 10:11

Proceedings are now under way. 

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi is addressing the court.

06 Aug 09:57


Malema is just asking for the media 'to be honest', court hears

All Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema asked for during his November 2018 speech outside the state capture commission of inquiry was that journalists should be honest, the Equality Court sitting in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday. 

The SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) and five journalists have taken on the EFF in court over the intimidation of journalists. 

The five journalists are News24 editor Adriaan Basson, Daily Maverick journalist Pauli van Wyk, Tiso Blackstar's associate editor Ranjeni Munusamy, Eyewitness News senior journalist Barry Bateman and co-editor of Vrye Weekblad Max du Preez. 

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC, for Malema and the EFF, had argued on Monday that what the applicant argues was that they are involved in politics, but Malema does not intend to engage them in politics. 

06 Aug 09:57


ANALYSIS: Malema, the EFF and a history of violence

The EFF and its leadership, including and particularly Julius Malema, are difficult to deal and engage with.

They're violent, anarchic and populist.

They more often than not resort to insults and invective when challenged, use racist language when attacking those who criticise them and use inflammatory language in their rhetoric. Their vocabulary is peppered with quasi-military language and faux revolutionary terms, words and phrases.

The party's structure is modelled on an autocratic and despotic system of command and control. Malema is styled as a "commander-in-chief" (a position reserved for the head of state as commander of all armed forces), the party's top structure meeting as a "war council" (which evokes memories of Asian resistance and revolution) and supporters are referred to as "ground forces" (an obvious military term).

06 Aug 09:56


EFF supporters are contemplating acts of violence against the media, court hears 

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) has told the Equality Court, sitting in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, EFF supporters were contemplating acts of violence against the media. 

Sanef and five journalists have taken on the EFF in court with regards to the intimidation of journalists. 

The five journalists are News24 editor Adriaan Basson, Pauli van Wyk, Ranjeni Munusamy, Barry Bateman and Max du Preez. 

Arguing for Sanef and the journalists, advocate Daniel Berger told the court: "There is no doubt that EFF supporters are contemplating acts of violence against the media." 

06 Aug 09:56


EFF has created a toxic and hostile environment for journalists, court hears 

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and his followers have sent tweets which have targeted journalists in a way that constitute hate speech, the Equality Court sitting in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) and five journalists have taken the EFF to the Equality Court over the "intimidation" of journalists.

Sanef has argued that the court has jurisdiction to entertain the matter. The journalists are News24 editor Adriaan Basson, Pauli van Wyk, Barry Bateman, Ranjeni Munusamy and Max du Preez.

06 Aug 09:56


Sanef takes on EFF in court for 'intimidation' of journalists 

The South African National Editors' Forum's (Sanef) Equality Court case against the EFF starts in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

"Sanef and a number of individual journalists have taken the EFF to the Equality Court to argue that the latter has enabled an environment in which intimidation, harassment, threats and/or assaults on journalists, including the individual complainants in this case, have been tolerated and, in fact, encouraged, creating a chilling effect on freedom of expression, access to information and freedom of the media in the country," the body said in a statement.

In response, the EFF has argued that it did not know – and has no control over - the people responsible for the barrage of online harassment journalists are subjected to daily.

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