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High Court dismisses EFF’s application to appeal Gupta interdict

The interdict prevents the EFF from interfering in the activities of ANN7 and ‘New Age’ reporters.

FILE: EFF leader Julius Malema addressed the media outside the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg on 09 February 2016 following the Nkandla showdown. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - The High Court in Pretoria has dismissed an application by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to appeal an order interdicting the party and its leader, Julius Malema, from inciting violence against the Gupta family and their business interests.

The Gupta family approached the court three weeks ago after claims by Malema that they can't guarantee the safety of ANN7 and New Age journalists.

A Gauteng EFF leader later commented that the Guptas would be removed from the province by force.

The family has come under fierce criticism because of its close ties to President Jacob Zuma and for allegedly benefiting from business deals secured through this relationship.

The New Age newspaper reports that the EFF's counsel argued Malema's comments were not an incitement to violence and should be protected as free speech in the context of robust political discussion.

The judge has however dismissed the application to appeal, which means the earlier order remains in effect.

Judge Johan Louw ruled that the Guptas and their employees have a constitutionally protected right not to be threatened with violence.

He found that Malema's comments, as understood by a reasonable and right thinking person, would cause a person to apprehend that they would be harmed.

The interdict prevents the EFF from interfering in the activities of ANN7 and New Age reporters.