Johannesburg – The New Age and ANN7 expressed their dissatisfaction at EFF leader Julius Malema’s “utterances and threats” on Thursday.
Moegsien Williams, editor-in-chief of both The New Age and ANN7, compared Malema’s words to those he used during an outburst aimed at BBC journalist in 2010.
“All freedom-loving democrats in South Africa should condemn the leader of the EFF for his utterances and threats against the staff of The New Age and TV channel ANN7,” Williams said in a statement.
On Thursday Malema warned that Gupta-owned media such as ANN7 and The New Age would not be welcome at his party’s events.
“Guptas must leave the country. We are tired of talking about [the] Guptas. We going to take practical action,” Malema said.
“Sisters and brothers in Gupta firms we love you and don’t want you to be casualties. We cannot guarantee the safety of those printing New Age and ANN7.”
Williams said that Malema, as a Member of Parliament “who has sworn to uphold the constitution, violated the constitutional rights of the reporters on several issues”.
“Apart from trampling on their dignity, he threatened violence against them in a manner that amounted to hate speech.”
Williams said that Malema should explain himself to the IEC when he binds himself to their code of conduct which states that candidates “must speak out against political violence and threats against other parties, the IEC, members of the public and the media”.
“In his diatribe, Malema failed to take into account the need for the free exchange of ideas and views which is the role of journalists allowed to operate in an environment where they are not operating under the threat of violence.”