The ANC has had its say on the matter.
On Thursday afternoon, members of the Black First Land First (BLF) party travelled to the house of TimesMedia editor Peter Bruce. Members of the party banged on Bruce’s garage door with the intention of intimidating him and his family. The slogan “Land or Death” was also spray painted onto his door.
Watch: BLF is targeting editor Peter Bruce for reporting on the Gupta family
Other journalists got word of the scene outside Bruce’s house, they decided to protect media freedom and confront the protesters. Veteran journalist Karima Brown was manhandled on her arrival.
Proud of colleague Karima Brown for going to the house of Peter Bruce to show solidarity. Media freedom matters more than our differences. pic.twitter.com/1JmSwJPV8T
— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) June 29, 2017
#SunaVenter @Bruceps #TimCohen and now @KarimaBrown – this is an attack on democracy. I stand by you, colleagues. pic.twitter.com/87srcvcUDC
— Gasant Abarder (@GasantAbarder) June 30, 2017
The ANC has now released a statement condemning BLF’s actions. The governing party focussed on issues of free speech and freedom of the press.
“This manner of handling differences is an antithesis to the tolerant society appreciative of divergent views we seek to build.
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa guarantees every person in the country the right to freedom of expression, which includes the freedom of the press and other media as well as the freedom to receive and impart information or ideas.
In the same vein, it is the view of the ANC that where the media sees any wrong doing done by government, by the ANC or any other political party let them speak out. In instances of hypocrisy, inconsistency or utter dishonesty on the part of the ANC or government or any other political party let them shout louder. “
Aside from calling on law enforcement to investigate and “not hesitate to act,” the ANC also had a tiny jab or two at the media. The media were called on to “maintain their ethical standards and credibility.”
“Where the media fails to live up to these injunctions, independent scrutiny and co-regulation mechanisms have been created as a response. While these may be inadequate in certain instances, they remain the current platform created to ensure media accountability necessary to shape a democratic society, not intimidation and violence.”
Do you think any action will be taken against BLF, or is it all just political talk? One thing is certain, Thursday’s actions were an attack on media freedom.