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SANEF Welcomes High Court Ruling In Karima Brown Case against the EFF

07 June 2019

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) welcomes the Gauteng High Court’s judgement yesterday which ruled in favour of political journalist Karima Brown in a case against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The judgement stated that the EFF had contravened the Electoral Code and must pay costs.

The case arose when EFF leader, Julius Malema published Brown’s cellphone number on Twitter and accused her of sending spies to an EFF meeting. Shortly thereafter his supporters began a barrage of insults against her – calling her derogatory names and threatening her with rape and death. The abuse was triggered when Brown accidently posted a message on an EFF What’s App group, which was meant instead for a journalist group.

The High Court ruled that the EFF had contravened sections of the Electoral Code as contained in Schedule 2 to the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 and issued a formal warning against the EFF. However, it also criticized Brown for her “strident and politically laced responses” to the EFF.  The EFF has accepted the judgement.

SANEF warmly welcomes the decision as an important victory for media freedom and as a victory for ensuring the safety of journalists – particularly women journalists. In South Africa, and around the world, women receive the lion’s share of abuse and intimidation both online and in the real world

SANEF hopes that this case – and our own case that was lodged in the Equality Court late last year – will finally stem the tide of abuse against journalists. SANEF approached the Equality Court in the wake of intimidation and abuse of journalists from the EFF and its leadership. Please see here for the full set of papers –  https://sanef.org.za/sanef-vs-eff-court-papers/

As SANEF, we believe that these court cases, including the judgement made in the Trevor Manual Defamation case, will finally hold the EFF leadership to account. We believe that this will ultimately be a victory for the constitutional principles of freedom of expression, access to information and freedom of the media.

Please click on the link to read the judgement

For more information please contact:

Sam Mkokeli – SANEF Media Freedom 082 084 2051

Kate Skinner – SANEF Executive Director 082 926 6404