A group of editors and journalists wanted the EFF and its leaders to be compelled to speak and act against anti-media rhetoric and alleged intimidation of journalists.
The Economic Freedom Fighters and its leader Julius Malema have won their defence of a case brought against by the SA National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) and journalists Ranjeni Munusamy, Pauli Van Wyk, Adriaan Basson, Max Du Preez and Barry Bateman.
The journalists had approached the Equality Court to declare the EFF’s call on them to be regarded as enemies of the revolution and defenders of President Cyril Ramaphosa hate speech.
They had approached the court in an attempt to interdict the EFF from intimidating journalists, publishing personal information of the journalists, expressly or tacitly endorsing the intimidation of journalists and also for the party and Malema to pay costs in the matter.
In its ruling on Thursday, the Equality Court in Pretoria dismissed the application and no order of costs was made.
“In my view, the complainants have failed to establish that being a journalist qualifies for the protection under section 10 and 11 of the Equality Act directly or as an analogous ground. The respondents’ conduct does not qualify as hate speech due to the absence of hatred and incitement of hatred of journalists as a whole.
“There is no factual and legal causation such that the respondents may be held liable for breaching the Equality Act.”