2 August 2017

South Africa: Urgent Application Launched to Arrest Andile Mngxitama

Photo: Black First Land First
Black First Land First logo.

The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef), amaBhungane managing partner Sam Sole and HuffPost SA editor-at-large Ferial Haffajee on Tuesday launched an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court to arrest Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama.

In court papers, they argue BLF and Mngxitama are in contempt of a court order handed down by Judge Corrie van der Westhuizen on July 7.

"Mngxitama is to be arrested and imprisoned for a period of three months (90 days) immediately upon the granting of this order," the papers read.

Their application called on the court to interdict both BLF and Mngxitama from intimidating, harassing, assaulting, threatening, coming to the homes of journalists or acting in any manner that would constitute an infringement of the personal liberty of any journalists.

The application further called for the BLF and Mngxitama to be prohibited from making any threatening or intimidating gestures on social media, on the BLF web page or on personal Twitter pages.

Actions condemned

BLF and Mngxitama have been given time until Thursday August 3 to reply to the urgent application. The case is set to be heard next week on Tuesday August 8.

Sanef applied for an interdict against the BLF and Mngxitama after Business Day editor, Tim Cohen, was assaulted as he tried to take a picture of BLF supporters outside Tiso Blackstar editor-at-large Peter Bruce's house in Johannesburg.

Judge Corrie van der Westhuizen granted the interdict against BLF and Mngxitama on July 7.

On evening of July 27, BLF supporters disrupted a debate about state capture and the Gupta emails, hosted by the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism.

Sanef chairperson and News24 politics editor, Mahlatse Gallens, condemned the actions by BLF at the amaBhungane gathering.

"It is quite despicable that the BLF has no respect for the rule of law and our Constitution. They are now trying to shut down spaces for free expression," Gallens said.

AmaBhungane is a non-profit company founded to develop investigative journalism in the public interest.

Together with the Daily Maverick and News24, amaBhungane has led the investigation into the emails allegedly leaked from the Gupta family.

These have exposed the extent of the family's influence in the South African public sector.

News24

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