Johannesburg - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Sunday condemned the Black First Land First (BLF) organisation for threatening journalists and marching to their homes over their reporting on the wealthy, politically connected Gupta family.
Mbalula said he condemned anyone who attacked those whom they disagreed with, and added that ''people would soon be arrested''.
''We will never agree with those who attack journalists and march to their homes... we are going to arrest them very soon. We cannot allow people to march to our houses... that is wrong. When people marched to the Guptas' [home in Saxonwold] police used stun grenades because we did not want that march to take place,'' said Mbalula.
''We must hit them hard even when they march to [South African Communist Party second deputy general secretary] Solly Mapaila's home; we must also hit them hard when they march to [journalist and former editor] Peter Bruce's house... when they come to my house, I'll finish them. We cannot allow BLF to say these people are white monopoly capital... suffocate this people... they are undermining our democracy,'' he said.
A group of BLF members, whose organisation is reportedly funded by the Gupta family, marched to Bruce's house in Johannesburg last weekend, demanding that he stop writing about the family. When Business Day editor Tim Cohen arrived at Bruce's house he was reportedly manhandled by the angry mob.
The BLF issued a statement in which is listed other white journalists whom it said were next on their target list. The list included EWN's Stephen Grootes and Barry Bateman, amaBhungane's Sam Sole, and News24 columnist Max du Preez.
The SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) condemned the BLF actions and said on Sunday that it would seek an urgent court interdict to stop the organisation from harassing journalists.
The BLF is led by Andile Mngxitama, a former Economic Freedom Fighters MP. He was expelled along with other MPs Mpho Ramakatsa and Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala after a disciplinary hearing found them guilty of bringing the party into disrepute and undermining its leadership.
African News Agency