BLF's Gupta-sponsored adventurism must be stopped - R2K

Campaign condemns organisation for harassing amaBhungane's Micah Reddy

R2K is outraged by Black First Land First's (BLF) continued attacks on journalists, and rejects BLF’s calls for a Media Tribunal

The recent harassment of Micah Reddy, an amaBhungane investigative journalist and R2K activist, is yet another affront on freedom of expression. Micah was accosted by members of the public, who are allegedly supporters of the BLF on the 17th of July, in Braamfontein after a panel discussion with Andile Mngxitama, BLF President on fake news . R2K demands that the BLF respect media freedom and diversity.

Micah Reddy has in the last decade devoted most of his time to defending freedom of expression for all who live and work in South Africa, regardless of whether or not he agreed with the opinions and ideas they were expressing. Micah’s work, particularly with Right2Know Campaign was never at the service of monopoly capital.

Committed to media pluralism, Micah has long argued for the transformation of the media in South Africa, favouring a media landscape that not only accommodated the voice of business, but also ensured that communities, civil society and the interests of the public were the drivers of a democratic people’s media. In targeting Micah Reddy, the BLF supporters reveal dangerous anti-democratic tendencies.

Right2Know is perturbed by the Ministry of Police’s seeming reluctance to put a stop to BLF’s continued harassment of members of the fourth estate. This is particularly shocking, coming as it does, on the heels of an interdict by the High Court. R2K believes that if allowed to continue without restraint, BLF is setting a very dangerous precedent that could very well see the descent of the South African democracy into a pit of hatred and rampant disregard for the rule of law. BLF’s Gupta-sponsored adventurism must be brought to a halt! R2K demands that the BLF immediately stop their blatantly illegal and dangerous actions against journalists.

R2K rejects BLF’s recent calls for the establishment of a Media Tribunal to regulate the media. R2K has long been campaigning against proposals for a state-run media regulatory body because of the threat this poses to a critical, vibrant and independent media.

Statement issued by Right2Know, 21 July 2017