Sanef warns of rise in attacks on journalists

Sanef's Sam Mkokeli says they are seeing more of these actions on social media which have resulted in a real-life danger to the journalists.

Picture: Sanef website.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Editors Forum's (Sanef) spokesperson Sam Mkokeli is urging South Africans to take notice of the growing trend of attacking journalists.

He says they are seeing more of these actions on social media which has resulted in a real-life danger to the journalists.

Late on Tuesday evening, Malema tweeted a WhatsApp screenshot of an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) media statement's group conversation in which Brown accidentally posted and deleted a message, following a statement that was sent to the group. Sanef said through its statement Brown's message was meant for a journalist group instead.

Several female journalists such as the Daily Maverick's Pauli Van Wyk, Carien Du Plessis, Business Day's Ranjeni Munusamy and 702's Karima Brown have been victims of such abuse.

Speaking on the Karima Brown Show, Mkokheli said this trend started during Fees Must Fall protests and has spiralled.

“In the build up to the 2016 elections, I came across at least two dozen journalists who were beaten up. So, there is another layer of cyberbullying.”

He adds that they are taking action against political parties posing a threat to journalists.

“Recently, we took the Economic Freedom Fighters to the Equality Court over statements that they’ve made in terms of hate speech, that could be interpreted as intimidation of our journalists and incitement of violence.”