The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has expressed disappointment over the Equality Court judgment dismissing its application to interdict the Economic Freedom Fighters from intimidating, harassing and assaulting journalists.
Sanef approached the court on behalf of five journalists, following a spate of attacks on journalists and media houses.
Last year, EFF leader Julius Malema identified specific journalists he accused of protecting Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Malema accused the media of ignoring EFF allegations that Gordhan’s daughter was in business with the state, saying the media were like the apartheid Stratcom disinformation campaign.
In her ruling, Judge Daisy Molefe said Sanef failed to establish that being a journalist qualified for the protection of the court, saying the respondents’ conduct did not qualify as hate speech.
This was due to the absence of hatred and incitement to hatred of journalists.
Judge Molefe also said there were no legal facts to hold the EEFF liable for breaching the Equality Act.
In a statement, Sanef said it would be studying the contents of the judgment and would make further decisions about the continuation of the legal process.
Sanef’s Kate Skinner said they maintained that they were justified to approach the court after numerous instances of threats and the intimidation of journalists.
In a tweet, EFF deputy president Floyd Shivhambu said the court defeated Stratcom in their attempt to legitimise the economic emancipation movement.
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