EFF rejects Gupta comments as inciting violence

BY CHARL BOSCH - FEBRUARY 10, 2016

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have reportedly indicated it would contest an interdict brought by the controversial Gupta family, that it incited violence after announcing it could no longer guarantee the safety of journalists working for The New Age newspaper and ANN7 news station at party events.

In an application submitted to the Pretoria High Court on Monday, the family stated that the comments, made by party leader Julius Malema at a media briefing last week, interfered with the work of its journalist and also put their safety at risk.

Addressing the media and party members outside the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg yesterday, Malema said none of the remarks amounted to violence, and that the party would call-on its legal team to appeal the interdict.

“We strongly believe that the Guptas must be challenged. They must never feel that they are untouchable because of their proximity to power. And by admitting their association with President Zuma, they must know they would be highly scrutinised,” Malema told Eyewitness News.

In a letter addressed to ANN7 and New Age editor-in-chief Moegsien Williams earlier this week, EFF Secretary-General Godrich Gardee, said the banning had nothing to do with the publishing of bad stories, but because both “form part of state corruption activities with the purpose to loot state resources”.

“We reiterate that The New Age and ANN7 are banned from all EFF events, not as journalists, but whoever comes in the name of these publications and broadcasters,” Gardee said.

“This means we distinguish between journalists and the Gupta criminal enterprises. For as long as journalists come to represent or report on behalf of The New Age or ANN7, they are not welcome”.