The Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula welcomed the judgement on the case brought by South African National Editor’s Forum ( SANEF) against Black Land First ( BLF). The courts remain the last arbiter to settle the differences and their decisions must be respected.
“Ours is to uphold the rule of law and we expect everyone to respect the court judgment. The Police will not hesitate to act against those who want to undermine the decisions of the court,” Minister Mbalula said.
Minister Mbalula affirmed the importance of robust engagement in the democracy where no prisoners are spared. This is what must make South Africa a nation that engages.
“No matter how heated the engagements are, they must happen within the ambit of the law. Therefore no intimidation or harassment must be used to silence those you differ with, ” Minister Mbalula added.
Minister Mbalula called upon BLF members to stop harassing and intimidating members of the media and respect the court judgement. In a democratic South Africa freedom of the press is one of the celebrated freedoms. South Africa has a duty to protect that freedom.
“Journalist cannot and must never be silenced. They form a critical part of our democracy, they inform and educate our people. They are the voice of the voiceless and marginalized South Africans,” Minister Mbalula added.
Minister Mbalula reassured South Africans that action will be taken against those who are hellbent in undermining the country’s democracy. Police have a duty to protect all citizens, no one has a right to protest on anyone’s private residence.