PAC calls for protection of press freedom following BLF threats

Sanef on Monday filed an urgent application to obtain an interdict to stop the group after a protest outside the home of an editor.

FILE: Anti-Zuma protesters clash with BLF members who arrived at the Gupta family's Saxonwold mansion in support of the president. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - As the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) turns to the courts to stop the Black First Land First Movement (BLF) from threatening journalists, parties and organisations have moved to stand up for a free media.

Sanef on Monday filed an urgent application to obtain an interdict to stop the group after a protest outside the home of Tiso Blackstar editor Peter Bruce last week.

BLF has threatened similar protests outside the homes of journalists, including members of Eyewitness News.

The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) has warned that it is ready to fight physically against anyone who threatens the safety of journalists, while trade union Saftu has called BLF members fascist thugs.

The PAC’s Kenneth Mokgatlhe says: “We must protect the freedom we fought for during apartheid. We can’t lose this now just because BLF wants popularity.”

Saftu says that targeting the media is part of a systematic drive to hollow out institutions that support democracy.

The African National Congress, Economic Freedom Fighters and Democratic Alliance have all condemned BLF’s actions.

BLF is being given the chance to submit answering affidavits.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)