The South African Nation Editors’ Forum (Sanef) says it will not tolerate the intimidation of journalists and violation of media freedom.
Sanef plans to file an interdict against the Black First Land First (BLF) group after the movement threatened to continue protests at the homes of journalists they say support white monopoly capital and white corruption.
Last week, BLF picketed outside Business Day journalist Peter Bruce's house, accusing him of being racist and writing fake news.
SANEF's written to Black First Land First following their statement today in which they 'warn white journalists'.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) June 30, 2017
Here's our full letter... pic.twitter.com/bW59GctVz0
Sanef's media freedom sub committee chair Sam Mkokeli explains that the court action is in an effort to uphold democratic principles for all South Africans.
We find the need to go to court so that the space for journalism is protected. It's about South Africa's democracy. Media freedom is for everyone.— Sam Mkokeli, chairperson of Sanef's media freedom sub committee
Mkokeli says Sanef is encouraged to hear that Police Minister Fikile Mbalula will also take action against the intolerance shown towards journalists.
He maintains that the threatening of journalists amounts to a blatant attack on democracy, and should not be taken lightly by citizens.
Media acceptance, not just mere tolerance is a cornerstone of our democratic order. We will protect all journalists from all media houses. https://t.co/N4Y82cAZus— RSA Police Minister (@MbalulaFikile) June 30, 2017
According to Mkokeli, the intimidation is an attempt to silence the voice of media, so that state corruption can continue unabated.
"It's important for all South Africans to stand up. This is not just about media freedom, it's about state resources and #statecapture."— 702 (@Radio702) July 2, 2017
"#BFLF are trying to drive a wedge between black and white journalists in SA. It's a false narrative that they are for black consciousness."— 702 (@Radio702) July 2, 2017
Take a listen to Sanef explain the importance of media freedom: