The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) has thrown its weight behind the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef)‚ which is seeking an urgent interdict to stop Black First Land First (BLF) from harassing and intimidating journalists.
In a statement the party said that if the court fails to stop the “arrogant group‚ we will be left with no choice but to ensure and enforce safety for our media workers”.
According to Kenneth Mokgatlhe‚ PAC spokesperson‚ BLF members should be denounced as nothing but thugs as it is “obviously unjustifiable to go around intimidating other people for doing their work”.
“It is unfortunate that the PAC was not able to attend the court interdict hearing today … because of other political commitments. We are offering our apology but we are with you in our revolutionary spirit.
“We are saying that journalists and editors should never be frightened or intimidated by any thugs‚ we are also urging SAPS to do their work and send these thugs where they belong in prison because they are not only dangerous to our society but also to themselves‚ they need severe rehabilitation‚” said the statement.
This follows a protest by about 20 BLF members outside the Parkview home of Tiso Blackstar editor-at-large Peter Bruce on Thursday during which he was threatened over an article he wrote about the Guptas. BLF members also assaulted Business Day editor Tim Cohen outside the house.
BLF is reported to have threatened a number of white journalists – among them Bruce‚ amaBhungane’s Sam Sole‚ News24 editor Adriaan Basson‚ 702 presenter Stephen Grootes‚ News24 columnist Max du Preez‚ Eyewitness News journalist Barry Bateman and Biznews editor Alec Hogg – accusing them of racism‚ publishing fake news and covering up “white corruption under the guise of journalism”.
The organisation also threatened black journalists who “mimick [sic] these white agents of white monopoly capital‚ such as Ferial Haffajee‚ Karima Brown‚ Eusebius McKaiser”.