South Africa: 'How Do You Hold an Underground Editor Accountable ' - Malema On Karima Brown Matter

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Screenshot of a tweet from EFF leader Julius Malema accusing veteran journalist Karima Brown of using "moles" to spy on the party.

The EFF remains unrepentant in its stance on veteran journalist Karima Brown, in the wake of condemnation from fellow journalists and the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef).

Brown seemingly posted an editorial brief in an EFF media WhatsApp group by mistake on Tuesday after the party posted an invitation to an EFF "Breakfast With The Elderly" function, scheduled for Wednesday.

Brown responded: "Keep an eye out for this. Who are these elders. Are they all male and how are they chosen. Keep watching brief." She later deleted the message.

EFF leader Julius Malema later tweeted a screenshot of the message, which included Brown's cellphone number, saying: "Karima Brown is sending moles to our breakfast with the elders tomorrow, she incidentally sends the message to the @EFFSouthAfrica media WhatsApp group and deleted it immediately."

On Wednesday, Malema - speaking to journalists after meeting and celebrating his 38 th birthday with the elderly in Ekurhuleni - defended his decision to post the message on Twitter.

The eNCA political commentator and Talk Radio 702 show host had earlier complained that she had received numerous threats since Malema and EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi posted her number on social media, with some threatening to rape or even kill her.

'I think she is a state agent'

But when Malema was quizzed on Wednesday, he said Brown had no privileges, instead questioning the meaning of her WhatsApp post, which looked like editorial notes.

"She cannot claim privilege of journalist. We cannot expose the number of an editor, or sub-editor, an assignment editor or even a journalist," said Malema.

"What was she doing? That sounded like an intelligence SMS, where people are given an assignment to come and spy on the gogos," said Malema in refefence to the elderly women who attended the event.

He said eNCA had called the EFF over the matter, but couldn't account for her role at the television station.

"We asked if is she an editor? No. A sub-editor? No. An assignment editor? No. So, what was she doing?," he asked.

"eNCA hasn't taken responsibility for her, therefore, she's working for someone other than eNCA," Malema insisted.

The EFF commander-in-chief said they needed to be told what Brown's position was, because they had nothing on which to hold her accountable to.

"How do you hold an underground editor accountable," he asked.

I think she's a state agent, I think she's an operative, I think she is intelligence", Malema added.

'No individual should be threatened with rape'

Malema also distanced his party members from the insults and threats that Brown had received, saying in an era of "fake news" anyone could hide behind an "avatar" on social media.

"No member of the EFF has attacked her, worse through the mandate of an EFF," he said.

He said he doubted it was EFF members who were contacting Brown.

"No individual should be threatened with rape. Those who do that should be thrown in prison and locked up for a very long time."

He then went on to lambaste those who viewed his party's supporters as being incapable of thinking.

"This narrative of trying to create an impression that EFF people are mental hospital patients is wrong," he said.

"I think they (EFF supporters) are well upstairs and can differentiate between wrong and right. They will never do anything to harm our democracy."

When asked if he had called Brown to discuss his concerns, Malema said he had not, because "she would tell me off".

This is not the first clash between the EFF and Brown. She has previously laid charges with police against a party member after receiving threatening messages.

Source: News24

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