12 December 2018

South Africa: News24 Editor-in-Chief to Lay Charges Against EFF Supporter After Death Threat

News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson on Wednesday said he would be opening a criminal case against an EFF supporter who tweeted a call for "action to kill white people like you".

The comment, made by one @tsk_tsheko, was made after Basson shared a link to a story about the DA reporting Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Equality Court for comments he made over the weekend.

During his speech in Potchefstroom, Mngxitama reportedly urged an audience to kill five white people for every one black person that dies because of taxi violence, which he said would have been incited by Johann Rupert's comments at the Chairman's Conversation.

In response to Basson's tweet, @tsk_tsheko tweeted: "But for the first time I agree with him, we must slaughter these white animals if they kill black Africans, actually we must come up with action to kill white people like you @AdriaanBasson".

News24's social media editor reported the comment, which has since been removed.

@tsk_tsheko's profile indicates he is from Tzaneen. His avatar and header image are photos of people in EFF regalia.

'Open season on journalists'

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the man does not speak for the EFF.

"The party's official positions are communicated by its leadership," he said after being asked if the EFF would be condemning such threats by its members.

Basson said it seemed it was "open season on journalists".

"It is indeed disturbing and shocking to see someone freely making these kind of death threats on a public platform like Twitter. I am not the first and will not be the last journalist to be threatened on social media platforms. It is time our political leaders take responsibility for the actions of their supporters and condemn this kind of hatred and abuse, particularly in the run-up to next year's elections".

Basson confirmed he would open a criminal case against the EFF supporter with the police.

"It is important to put these things on record. We cannot become a country where it is normalised to call for someone to be killed."

Source: News24

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