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Malema's remarks could lead to acts of violence against media, argues Sanef

This was among the submissions from the South African National Editors Forum, which together with five journalists were applying to have Malema and the party interdicted from intimidating reporters.

EFF leader Julius Malema at the High Court in Pretoria on 4 July 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Equality Court on Tuesday heard that the words of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema during a speech outside the state capture commission of inquiry could easily be interpreted as an incitement to cause harm to journalists.

This was among the submissions from the South African National Editors' Forum, which together with five journalists, applied to have Malema and the party interdicted from intimidating reporters.

Malema's public comments, as well as his own tweets and those of followers, were submitted as evidence of the party's attacks on the media.

Advocate Tebogo Manchu referred to Malema's comments outside the Zondo commission in November last year where he identified several journalists as enemies of the party.

'Mr Malema says, 'Let us attack, fighters. Where we meet the enemy, we must crush the enemy. When the enemy raises its ugly head, don’t hit the head, cut them.' To take the wording from Section 10, those words could reasonably be construed to demonstrate the clear intention to be hurtful, harmful or to incite harm.'

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said the party had clearly spoken out against any form of violence.

'Both Mr Malema and Mr Shivambu have told their supporters on Twitter publicly that the way we engage these journalists is superior logic. Those are the words of Mr Malema. Mr Shivambu has said, ‘The way we engage with confused journalists is to clarify them with facts.'' he said.

Judgment was reserved.

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