Helen Suzman Foundation response to social media abuse directed at Karima Brown
7 March 2019
The Helen Suzman Foundation is shocked at the level of abuse which has been directed at well-known journalist Karima Brown over the past few days, emanating via social media, apparently from supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). We condemn this in the strongest possible terms.
We have also taken note of the abuse directed by supporters of the EFF at other journalists in recent months.
This conduct is in direct conflict with Section 16 of the Constitution, which provides for the freedom of the press and other media. At the same time, Section 16 also specifically states that the right to freedom of expression does not extend to the “advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.”
We note that the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) has lodged a complaint in the Equality Court last year against the EFF, following threats against journalists. We trust that this case will be heard in the near future. We also expect Government to take a more forceful public stand against any attempts to intimidate or threaten journalists.
Issued by Francis Antonie, Director, Helen Suzman Foundation, 7 March 2019