Sanef considering options after EFF interdict bid fails

Sanef took the EFF to court on behalf of five journalists following a spate of attacks on reporters and media houses.

Sanef logo. Picture: Sanef website.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) said it was considering its options, including an appeal, after the Equality Court dismissed its application to interdict the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) from intimidating, harassing and assaulting journalists.

Sanef took the EFF to court on behalf of five journalists following a spate of attacks on reporters and media houses.

Last year, party leader Julius Malema identified specific journalists he accused of protecting Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Malema accused the media of ignoring the EFF’s allegations that Gordhan's daughter was in business with the state.

Sanef brought the case on behalf of the five.

They said that they were subjected to intimidation, harassment and death threats.

However, the court ruled otherwise.

Judge Daisy Molefe said that there were no legal facts to hold the EFF liable for breaching the Equality Act.

Despite the ruling, Sanef's Kate Skinner said that they were justified to approach the court.

"We have got other routes that we're following. For instance, we think it is very important that we meet with political parties. We started doing that, we had a discussion with political parties about two weeks back..."

The judge said that Sanef failed to establish that being a journalist qualified for the protection of the court, saying the respondents’ conduct did not qualify as hate speech.

In a statement, the EFF said the court correctly dismissed the application as it only sought to portray the party as violating media freedom and the rights of journalists.