JOHANNESBURG, July 7 – There were altercations on Friday between members of the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) and Black First Land First (BLF) moments after the South Gauteng High Court granted an interdict barring the latter from harassment of the media.
Judge Corrie van der Westhuizen’s brief judgement in favour of Sanef said BLF had to refrain from intimidating, harassing, and threatening journalists at their homes, work places and in the field. He also ordered BLF to pay the costs. They were also ordered to retract all comments on social media within 12 hours.
Chants of “media freedom” could be heard in the court room after the judgement was handed down.
BLF leader Andile Mngxitama and other BLF members responded by shouting racial insults at journalists who were leaving the court..
“This white judge who we told you can not be trusted … white judges come from apartheid … there were many complicated matters put before him. If he was so clear in his mind he should’ve just given the judgement yesterday,” Mngxitama said when the commotion had died down. .
Two opposition party leaders, Congress of the People’s Mosiuoa Lekota and the African Christian Democratic Party’s Reverend Kenneth Meshoe attended the court hearing in support of journalists, who have been at the receiving end of violent anti-media campaigns by the BLF.
They welcomed the judgement, saying there could be no successful democracy without the media having freedom to do their work.
– African News Agency (ANA)