File photo: Dimpho Maja African News Agency (ANA).
JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) on Friday said it welcomed the South Gauteng High Court's ruling in favour of political journalist, Karima Brown in a case against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The high court on Thursday ruled that the EFF had contravened the electoral code and must pay costs.

"Sanef warmly welcomes the decision as an important victory for media freedom and as a victory for ensuring the safety of journalists - particularly women journalists," Sanef said

"Sanef hopes that this case - and our own case that was lodged in the Equality Court late last year - will finally stem the tide of abuse against journalists."

Sanef said it believes these court cases, including the judgment made in the Trevor Manual Defamation case, will finally hold the EFF leadership to account.

This judgment comes after EFF leader Julius Malema published Browns cellphone number on Twitter and accused her of sending spies to his party's meeting.

Shortly thereafter, Malema's supporters insulted Brown and threatened her with rape and death. 

The attacks on Brown were triggered when she posted a message on an EFF WhatsApp group, which was meant for a journalist group.

Although the high court ruled that the EFF had contravened sections of the electoral code, it also criticised Brown for her "strident and politically laced responses" to the EFF.

"We believe that this will ultimately be a victory for the constitutional principles of freedom of expression, access to information and freedom of the media," said Sanef.

African News Agency (ANA)