Cape Town - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Wednesday stepped up its invective against veteran journalist Karima Brown, saying she held no position in the profession after it was widely criticised for accusing her of spying on a campaign meeting.
EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement Brown was an African National Congress (ANC) activist.
"The EFF has long held a position that Karima Brown is not a journalist, but an openly admitted ANC operative. All journalists who hold legitimate positions, and whose integrity has always been consistent with journalistic ethics, should care about what role Karima Brown plays in the media," he said.
Ndlozi issued the statement after EFF leader Julius Malema accused her of sending moles to spy on a planned EFF constituency meeting with elderly residents of Ward 6 in Ekhuruleni on Wednesday to dialogue about how the EFF will change their lives.
Malema said Brown had accidentally sent the message to the EFF media WhatsApp group, then deleted it. He published it on Twitter along with her phone number. EFF supporters then fired off insults to Brown, with one calling her "an Indian whore".
The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) condemned the party's attack on Brown, and called on Malema to desist.
"Sanef condemns the systemic, abusive and cruel social media attack levelled against Talk Show Host and veteran journalist Karima Brown over the last 24 hours by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and his supporters."
It said Brown's message was simply a standard newsroom alert to colleagues.
Fellow journalists took to Twitter to defend Brown and Malema responded to them with insults.
Brown in December laid charges of incitement to violence and intimidation against an EFF supporter after coming under sustained attack.