Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 28-11-2018
The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) says The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has declined a request for a meeting to discuss threats and intimidation levelled against journalists following inflammatory statements made by EFF leader Julius Malema.
Sanef requested a meeting with Malema following calls by him to party supporters to "deal decisively" with journalists, whose names he mentioned from the stage while addressing a crowd outside the Zondo Commission's hearings.
One of the journalists singled out by Malema was physically accosted while shopping and others faced abuse on social media.
According to Sanef, EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee wrote to the organisation on Tuesday, saying the party's schedule was "very tight and fully booked with pre-arranged meetings and activities up until the elections date".
EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told at least two programmes on radio and national television that the party would be prepared to meet with Sanef.
Sanef says while it acknowledge Malema's right to criticise the media, it remains gravely concerned about the threats and intimidation of individual journalists.
“SANEF will continue to seek legal advice on remedies available to us to protect journalists from bullying and intimidation by politicians. Our Council meeting resolved that journalists should feel free to leave press conferences or rallies by political parties if they feel under threat or intimidated.”