The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) is alarmed by the comments EFF leader Julius Malema made threatening journalists employed by Gupta-owned media.
In a statement released following the EFF’s press conference in Johannesburg today, Sanef said that “it is unacceptable for any political party to intimidate journalists and to publicly state that they cannot guarantee their safety”.
Malema earlier said ANN7 and The New Age journalists are no longer welcome at any of the party’s events or press conferences.
“We cannot guarantee your safety,” he said.
“Anyone working for the Guptas – journalists included – is contributing to corruption”.
Sanef urged the party not to ban journalists and reminded them of the rights to media freedom and association.
“The EFF is entitled to its views about media owners but should allow journalists to conduct their work without fear,” Sanef said.
“Freedom of the media and freedom of expression are enshrined in our Constitution and should be respected by the EFF.”
The Guptas, who also have business interests in IT and the mining sector, have previously been linked to the ANC and more specifically to President Jacob Zuma.
Malema also called on the family to leave the country, saying #ZuptasMustFall (a combination of Zuma and Gupta).