The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on Wednesday condemned social media messages sent to talk show host Karima Brown after Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema posted a screenshot showing her number.
This after she apparently accidentally posted a message on an EFF WhatsApp group, when it was meant for a journalists’ group.
Sanef said: “Malema published the cellphone number of Brown and shortly thereafter his supporters began a barrage of insults against her – calling her, among other derogatory names, ‘an Indian whore and bitch’ and levelling insults, threatening her life, and accusing her of allegedly sending moles to spy on them.
“We call on the EFF leadership to stop with this vicious attack on the media and allow journalists to do their work without fear and intimidation. The attacks on women in media in particular and the abuse levelled against them is contrary to the spirit of wanting to protect women in a country where violence against women has reached pandemic levels.”
Sanef reminded Malema that he was outraged after his home address was published on Twitter, only to post a screenshot showing Brown’s phone number.
“We also remind Malema that when his personal details were published on Twitter – Sanef condemned it, just as we condemn his actions to put out Brown’s telephone number.
“We further note that the unwarranted attacks on Brown are similar to the previous attacks by the EFF and its supporters on women journalists – a matter that Sanef has placed before the equality courts.”
It further urged the EFF leadership to approach the “proper” forums if they had any issues with Brown or any other member of the media, further calling on Malema to apologise to her.
“This attack on Brown is a clear example of the attack on media freedom. Our purpose as a non-profit association is to advance ethical and quality journalism – a critical component of media freedom and access to information as enshrined in our constitution.
“We call on Julius Malema and the entire EFF leadership to apologise to Karima Brown.”
But Malema supporters have insisted there was nothing wrong with what the EFF leader did.