BLF: We'll keep protesting against journalists
The High Court on Friday granted the South African National Editors Forum an interdict against the Black First Land First group.
JOHANNESBURG - The Black First Land First (BLF) group says it will continue protesting against journalists despite the High Court on Friday granting the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) an interdict against the group.
Sanef asked the court to stop the group from harassing, intimidating and threatening journalists and editors over their reporting on alleged state capture.
The BLF has been ordered to pay all legal costs.
In response, BLF leader Andile Mngxitama said, “No court of law or judge is ever going to stop the battle against racism and we’re prepared to pay the high price for that.”
Just moments after the judgment was handed down, the group screamed at reporters and Sanef members outside court.
“[You are pushing] white interests, it’s a shame; you’re a shame to the black race,” said a BLF member.
The group has also been ordered to release a public statement renouncing acts of violence and harassment against journalists.
But Mngxitama says he’s not surprised that the judge ruled against them because he is white.
“We said yesterday that we don’t trust a white court and the white law. We said this court is a white-controlled court ruling made by that so-called judge.”
Last week the BLF protested outside Tiso Blackstar editor Peter Bruce's home and painted the words "land or death" on his garage door.
Sanef's Mahlatse Gallens says the forum welcomes the ruling.
“It is not just about journalists, it is about every South African individual’s rights. Media freedom speaks to the public’s right to know and what they are trying to do is to silence the media so that the public does not know,"
Gallens says its time the police do their work.
“We had our reporters, editors and commentators being insulted, harassed and threatened by the BLF. It is quite important that police actually take action because we have taken the matter as far as we can.”
Cope's Mosiuoa Lekota and the ACDP's Kenneth Meshoe were also present in court in support of Sanef.
Lekota says as long as government allows groups like the BLF to thrive unchecked, the country's democracy is in jeopardy.
The Cope leader says the protection of media freedom is everyone’s responsibility.
He struggled to give his reaction to Friday's judgment outside the court as he was harassed by BLF members.
“As long as we have in power a president and the leadership of the country that is determined to generate illegal MKs, illegal BLFs so that they disrupt the law and order, South Africa will not go forward.”
WATCH: Cope’s Lekota shouted down by BLF members
(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)