Veteran journalist Karima Brown. Picture: Ian Landsberg/ANA
Veteran journalist Karima Brown. Picture: Ian Landsberg/ANA

Karima Brown goes to court over EFF threats

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Apr 26, 2019

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The showdown between Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and journalist Karima Brown appears to be far from over.

Talk Radio 702 reported on Friday morning that Brown approached the High Court in Johannesburg to take action against the party after receiving threats on her life.

Brown and the EFF have been at loggerheads since Malema posted a screenshot on Twitter, showing Brown’s contact details without her consent. Malema later apologised.

“If Karima had said to me you can’t put my number on Twitter and apologise, I would have apologised,” Malema said  the time.

It all began when Malema took to Twitter to accuse her of sending "moles" to a campaign meeting the EFF was holding with "elders" in Erkuhuleni's Ward 6. 

Brown had tried to post a brief of the event to colleagues at eNCA, where she hosts a weekly show on politics, but mistakenly sent it to the EFF's WhatsApp group.

In retaliation, Malema published Brown's mobile phone number, which led to EFF supporters unleashing a stream of vitriol, wherein they allegedly threatened Brown with rape and made racial attacks against her. 

"We are not playing here. We are dealing with racists... step aside or we will crush your prolapsed vagina," read one, which was accompanied by laughing emojis. Another called her an "Indian whore".

SANEF demanded an apology, but EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi issued a statement branding Brown an "ANC operative".

Brown also sought intervention from the Independent Electoral Commission.

In her court papers, Brown outlined how a ruling on her case is likely to have implications on the elections next month and therefore warrants urgent attention.

She added that for her, this was not about winning, but about making a bold statement.

“What I want is for a court to record that I, Karima Brown, stood up against the fascism and bullying from the Economic Freedom Fighters.”

Brown asked the court to rule that the EFF has contravened parts of the Electoral Act, to make an order for the party to issue on apology to her on its Twitter page and for the organisation to pay a fine of R100,000.

She said that the red berets have a long history of intimidating journalists and called on the courts to sanction the party to ensure that it was held responsible for its conduct on social media platforms.

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