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Sanef won’t appeal EFF hate speech ruling

The editors' group said although it found certain sections of the judgment problematic, it’s pleased that the court acknowledged the importance of protecting journalists.

FILE: Sanef said after careful consideration and legal advice, it accepted that the Equality Court was not the appropriate place to address the matter, adding the forum would not appeal the matter. Picture: Sanef website.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on Wednesday said it would not appeal the hate speech judgment it lost against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The editors' group said although it found certain sections of the judgment problematic, it was pleased that the court acknowledged the importance of protecting journalists.

Last week, the court ruled in favour of the EFF in a case brought on behalf of five reporters who wanted to interdict the party from intimidating, harassing and assaulting journalists.

Sanef said after careful consideration and legal advice, it accepted that the Equality Court was not the appropriate place to address the matter, adding the forum would not appeal the matter.

“We will henceforth be pursuing other legal matters in other jurisdiction under criminal common law to protect journalists,” said Sanef's Adriaan Basson.

The court found that journalists do not qualify for special protection in terms of the Equality Act.

Basson said they deserve protection: “Journalists are being harassed by politicians and their supporters. There should be some kind of recourse in law.”

He said journalists who have been harassed should not afraid to report their stories.

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