South African court rules opposition leader violated electoral code

- | 5 months ago

Blitz-CPJ News The Johannesburg High Court ruled that opposition politician Julius Malema and his political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, had breached the country’s Electoral Code of Conduct by doxxing veteran journalist Karima Brown, according to a copy of the judgment seen by the Committee to Protect Journalists and news reports.

The case stemmed from an incident in March in which Malema published Brown’s personal contact information on Twitter, leading to an onslaught of graphic messages on social media as well as on her phone through voice and WhatsApp messages, many threatening rape and murder, as CPJ reported at the time. According to the court judgment, Judge Fiona Dippenaar ruled that Malema and the EFF had contravened the Electoral Code of Conduct, including item 8 (c), under which “every registered political party and candidate must take all reasonable steps to ensure that journalists are not subjected to harassment, intimidation, hazard, threat or physical assault by any of their representatives or supporters.

” “Today’s court ruling in the Karima Brown case sets an important precedent that politicians cannot escape the consequences of their actions on social media and that they must be held accountable when their followers abuse and threaten journalists, particularly female journalists, said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal.

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