The Citizen, July 6, 2017
Black First Land First (BLF) said on Thursday that their fate was in the hands of a white judge they did not trust.
“At 12 o’clock tomorrow, a white judge, who like all white people, comes from a framework of thinking which puts whiteness first. We don’t have any trust in any white person,” BLF leader Andile Mngxitama said while addressing the media outside the South Gauteng High Court.
The court had earlier heard an urgent application by the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) and several journalists to interdict BLF from harassing, intimidating, assaulting and threatening journalists, especially those reporting on state capture.
Mngxitama went on to lash out at various media houses, including Naspers, as well as former finance minister Pravin Gordan, calling him a “house negro”.
Earlier, Judge Corrie van der Westhuizen said he was satisfied with the application that was brought forward by Sanef and that the matter had to be heard with urgency. Judgment on the matter was expected on Friday.
During proceedings, Thembeka Ngcukaitobi, for Sanef, requested that Van der Westhuizen make an order interdicting BLF from intimidating journalists, that BLF retract all threatening statements made on social media, and that they pay the court costs.
BLF members were heard laughing when Ngcukaitobi made the request.
Commenting on the matter, Sanef chairperson Mahlatse Gallens said: “We are appreciative of today, and are expecting him to rule on the merits of the case.
“We are here because we want to uphold the law, what we have seen is harassment of our journalists and basically trying to silence them from doing the work that is protected by the Constitution of this country.”
Gallens added there was nothing wrong with protesting, as it was part of the country’s democracy and was allowed by law.
“If you want to protest, you must go to the police and ask for permission, but going to people’s houses and assaulting journalists is a criminal offence,” she said in response to Mngxitama, saying BLF would continue protesting.
“What we want the BLF and the court to do is say that their protests can not be violent.”