South Africa: Karima Brown Consults Lawyers About Taking EFF to the Electoral Court

Video screenshot of Karima Brown.

Veteran journalist Karima Brown is consulting her lawyers about reporting the EFF to the Electoral Court for alleged misconduct and intimidation.

This comes after she laid an intimidation charge against the party and its leader, Julius Malema, on Wednesday night at the Rosebank police station.

Earlier on Wednesday, Brown reportedly mistakenly posted what she termed an "editorial brief" on an EFF WhatsApp group for journalists, where she was seemingly giving a direction to her producers covering an EFF function, "Breakfast with the Elderly".

Her message read: "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.

Malema tweeted a screenshot of the message, showing Brown's cellphone number, and accusing her of "sending moles" to the event.

Rape threats

Brown said following this she received rape threats from and was intimidated by EFF supporters after the tweet made her cellphone number public.

The EFF leader defended the post when he spoke to journalists at the 'Breakfast with the Elderly' event. He said he doubted that EFF supporters were harassing Brown.

An EFF statement, which was released later, labelled Brown an "ANC operative" who was "not a real journalist".

The South African National Editors' Forum and Primedia Broadcasting condemned Malema's actions as well as that of the so-called EFF supporters.

Brown told News24 on Thursday that the complaint against Malema and his supporters would be for "intimidation, violence, and enabling my abuse, which includes threats of rape, sexual violence and endangering my family. As well as being in contravention of the Electoral Code of Conduct".

"I am consulting lawyers. We [are] going soon," Brown said.

Safety concerns

Meanwhile, Sanef met with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Wednesday to discuss a variety of issues such as human rights, the role of the media and South Africa's 2019 elections.

One of the concerns raised was the attacks on Brown.

"Sanef discussed its court case, lodged late last year in the Equality Court against the EFF. The case followed an earlier barrage of abusive and dangerous threats against journalists - particularly women journalists. Sanef approached the court in defence of media freedom and seeking protection of journalists against sustained intimidation and threats by Malema and his supporters," Sanef chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase said in a statement on Friday.

Mahlase added that the SAHRC promised to support Sanef in its fight to protect journalists and support it in the court case.

This includes looking at collective ways that it, the Electoral Commission of SA and the Gender Commission can co-ordinate support for journalists and hold political parties and their leaders and followers accountable in terms of protecting reporters' safety.

Source: News24

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