“We did not take this decision to institute legal action against the EFF lightly. We believe in the South African way of resolving disputes around a table‚ but Sanef has been unsuccessful in seeking a meeting with Mr Malema and other EFF leaders about the remarks which we view as blatant hate speech‚” Sanef said in a statement on Wednesday.
Sanef wanted to meet the red berets in November but secretary-general Godrich Gardee said the party’s schedule was “very tight and fully booked with prearranged meetings and activities up until the elections date”.
This was despite the general elections being scheduled for May 2019 – six months away.
Responding to this, Ndlozi said the legal action was nothing but an attempt to try to silence the party from challenging certain journalists and personalities who the party had accused of being politicians.
“Many journalists have seen through the hypocrisy of Sanef, and have started to call on journalists not to descend into the arena and remain neutral. We will never be intimidated, and shall speak the truth even if it means prison,” he said.
Sanef, however, said it had approached the court under the banner of defending media freedom and seeking protection of journalists against intimidation and threats by the party’s leaders and supporters.
“Women journalists in particular have borne the brunt of an avalanche of insults levelled against them‚ particularly on social media. The journalists who have reported critically on the EFF have been called ‘whores’‚ ‘witches’‚ ‘bitches’ and ‘c***s’‚ and calls have been made for them to be raped and attacked by staunch EFF supporters‚” said Sanef.
While the complaint has been lodged‚ the forum said it was also demanding an apology from Malema.