Sanef heads to court for urgent interdict against BLF

2017-07-06 05:46

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Johannesburg – The SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) will argue for an interdict against Andile Mngxitama and Black First, Land First (BLF) in the High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The application, led by Sanef chairperson Mahlatse Gallens - who is political editor at News24 - was filed on Tuesday.

The group has asked the court to interdict Mngxitama and BLF from harassing, intimidating, assaulting and threatening the journalists and editors over their reporting and analysis on corruption and state capture.

''The reason for the harassment is because they have carried on their work independently as journalists," Gallens's founding affidavit said.

Last Thursday Business Day editor Tim Cohen was assaulted as he tried to take a picture of BLF supporters gathered outside Tiso Blackstar editor-at-large Peter Bruce's home in Johannesburg.

Bruce was targeted the week before in a series of articles and secretly taken photographs relating to his private life, indicating that he had been spied on.

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).

'Land or death'

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

In her main submissions, Gallens said the purpose of BLF's actions was to keep allegations regarding state capture and corruption out the public domain.

“The concerns around state capture are rife. Not a day goes by that we as South Africans are not faced with the pervasive impact of its corruption and maladministration.”

The applicants with Sanef are: Cohen; 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; journalist and political analyst 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.

Sanef and the applicants also submitted that BLF made fun of Police Minister Fikile's Mbalula's call to leave journalists alone.

Read more on:    blf  |  sanef  |  mahlatse gallens  |  andile mngxitama  |  johannesburg  |  media

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