The EFF and its leadership came under fire after veteran journalist Karima Brown was verbally abused and threatened after her mobile phone number was posted on Twitter.
This comes after Brown seems to have published an editorial report in an EFF medium Whatsapp Group after the party posted an invitation to an EFF event "Breakfast with older people", which is scheduled for Wednesday.
Brown responded, "Keep an eye on those who are these elders, are they all male, and how are they selected? Look out for a moment." She deleted the message later.
EFF boss Julius Malema later tweeted a screenshot of the message that contained Brown's mobile phone number and said, "Karima Brown sends moles to our breakfast tomorrow with the elders, and sends the message to the @EFFSouthAfrica media Whatsapp Group and put it out immediately. "
This triggered a flood of abusive responses from EFF members who accused Brown of being a spy and calling her, along with other insults and threats, a whore and a slut.
Since then, Brown has been the target of abusive messages and even rape threats. "Step aside or crush your sprawling vagina," says a Brown-led threat.
Brown responded that she would not be intimidated or frightened by the attacks of the party, her leaders or followers.
The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) condemned Wednesday what it called "systemic, abusive and cruel social media attack against Talk Show host and veteran journalist Karima Brown in the last 24 hours by the chairman of the "Economic Freedom Front", Julius Malema and his, called supporters ".
Indian whore and slut
"Malema published Brown's mobile number, and shortly thereafter his followers began insulting them with insults – she named them" an Indian whore and slut, "along with other derogatory names, insulted her, threatened her, and allegedly accused her of moles sent to to spy on her.
"That to Brown [accidentally] posted a message on an EFF Whatsapp Group. The message was instead intended for a journalist group. "
Sanef called on the EFF leadership to "stop this vicious attack on the media and allow journalists to do their job without fear and intimidation."
Sanef said that in particular, the attacks on and abuse of women in the media contradict the will to protect women in a country where violence against women has reached pandemic levels.
"Only yesterday, the EFF stood tall and condemned the abuse against the artist Babes Wodumo.
"We also remind Malema that Sanef, when his personal information was posted on Twitter, has condemned it, just as we condemn his actions to clear Brown's phone number."
Sanef further stated that the unjustified attacks on Brown were similar to the earlier attacks by the EFF and its supporters on female journalists – a matter that Sanef has brought before the Equality Court.
"If the EFF leadership has any evidence and / or concerns about Brown or any other media member, they must do so in the right forum, including the Broadcasting Commission on Radio and Television and Online or the Press Ombudsman / Council for Print and Online.
"From a position of Sanef there is empirical evidence that shows that when leaders and journalists make journalists oral, their followers follow in their footsteps."
The EFF defends its position
However, the EFF defended its position on Wednesday.
"The EFF has long held that Karima Brown is not a journalist, but an open-minded ANC employee, and all journalists who take up legitimate positions and whose integrity is always consistent with journalistic ethics should take care of what role Karima plays Brown plays the media, "said EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
"After accidentally storing information that looks like briefing notes in an EFF media statement Whatsapp Group, we have since made these notes available to the public.
"As a result, she has argued that these were editorial notes for eNCA journalists, and we know that Karima Brown has no editorial positions, not even the position of contract issuer at the eNCA. We urge the eNCA to explain in what capacity you would inform journalists involved in EFF meetings. "
The EFF said that she mentioned them by name, "because we do not want to tarnish all other journalists by generalizations".
"We argue with her because we think she has no position to use journalists to report news.
"If Karima Brown is not an official editor, and yet the eNCA allows her to exercise such power, then she has to say so, which will make things easier for us, since we will deal with her instead of the officially appointed editors." said the EFF.
The political editor of the eNCA, Vuyo Mvoko, responded to the EFF Whatsapp Group that Brown called a show The fix which will air on the channel on Sunday morning.
"It's a political-politics show, it has a team that helps put the show together, and throughout the week, the team keeps an eye on what's going on in the political scene.
"It was a quick look and nothing more, the fact that it was inadvertently posted here does not change the facts and does not justify the unwarranted and cowardly attacks on them," he said.
"Attack on media freedom"
Sanef said the attack on Brown is "a clear example of the attack on media freedom."
"Our goal as a nonprofit association is to drive ethical and quality journalism – a crucial component of media freedom and access to information, as enshrined in our constitution.
"We urge Julius Malema and the entire EFF leadership to apologize to Karima Brown.
"Sanef will continue to work for independent journalism to support threatened journalists in our own country and abroad and to help deepen our democracy."
Sanef said it filed a lawsuit against the EFF with the Equality Court at the end of 2018 following "abusive and dangerous threats" against journalists in South Africa.
"Sanef turned to the court to defend media freedom and to ask for the protection of journalists against the permanent intimidation and threats of Julius Malema and his followers against journalists.
"Sanef is worried that attacks on journalists are escalating, and calls on political parties and those elected to not use journalists as chessmen for political struggles and / or to cover up corruption." In the run-up to the elections, fierce hotspots emerged often led to a threat to the safety of journalists.
"We appeal to the [Electoral Commission of SA] monitor these media violations and inform political parties about the electoral law, which allows the media to operate in a free and fair environment. "
Sanef said there have been elective workshops in all nine provinces focusing on electoral reporting, ethics, and disinformation campaigning.