Rev Kenneth Meshoe, M.P. and President of the ACDP
The High Court in Johannesburg today granted the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) an interdict against Andile Mngxitama and the Black First Land First (BLF) movement; Sanef had asked the court to stop the group from harassing, intimidating and threatening journalists and editors over their reporting on alleged state capture.
Rev Kenneth Meshoe, Leader of the ACDP who was at the court, said, "The ACDP welcomes the court's decision bringing victory against the BLF, not only for media freedom but victory for all peace loving South Africans."
(An assault on political commentator Karima Brown in the presence of police was highlighted as well as a number of threatening tweets by BLF. Business Day editor Tim Cohen was assaulted as he tried to take a picture of BLF supporters intimidating journalist Peter Bruce (Tiso Blackstar Editor) who was also spied on in his private life.)
The leader of the ACDP continued, "The intimidation tactics that have been used by the BLF against journalists have to be condemned by all who oppose media freedom. The intimidation tactics at the home of Peter Bruce was barbaric and traumatic and particularly so for young children and has to be condemned in the strongest possible language."
"After the court gave judgment today, BLF supporters continued to intimidate journalists and members of the public," said Rev Meshoe, "including intimidating me as leader of the ACDP. When I left the court two BLF members followed, screaming at me that I was "anti-black", the same words they used to black journalists. We call on government not only to condemn these actions but to ensure law enforcement agencies come down hard on the criminal activities by some of the BLF members."
Rev Meshoe concluded, "The ACDP is disappointed that the police knew of the tactics of the BLF against all who disagree with them, yet did not protect the public, including leaders of ACDP and COPE against their action. If government does not stop the criminal activity of the BLF they will be allowing South Africa to slide further to becoming a mafia state."