A Western Cape woman is hoping to take 88 editors and journalism professors to the Constitutional Court on the grounds that they are censoring her.
She also accuses them of being part of what she describes as her persecution as a “Radical Honesty White Refugee”.
The South African Press Association and its editor, Mark van der Velden, are listed as sixth and seventh respondents respectively.
Some of the editors are also guilty of bribery by not reporting on her issues, Lara Johnstone contends.
The papers she submitted detail lengthy — and unsuccessful — attempts at getting editors to respond to or report on her assertions that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was a fake and a fraudulent public relations “stunt”.
This, she submits in her papers, is because no true peace or healing or advocacy of human rights can be achieved unless ecological and sustainability issues are properly addressed — most notably population control.
As the only representative of the group Radical Honesty SA in South Africa, she says that the group, whose leader is a Dr Brad Blanton in the United States, also known as “the pope of the futilitarian church” advocates true forgiveness through non-stop face-to-face working through an issue until it is resolved.
According to Blanton’s teachings on his website, this may include using speech considered offensive, in the interests of honesty.
She has previously submitted a “friend of the court” application to the Constitutional Court which was to decide whether Robert McBride could still be called a murderer — given that he was given amnesty by the TRC for his part in the bombing of the Magoo’s bar in Durban during the apartheid era.
The object of a “friend of the court” application is to be of assistance to the court in deliberating a matter and to raise legal arguments that might assist the judges.
Johnstone was unhappy that her written submission was given no coverage in the press and refers to this as censorship.
In that submission she argued that the Citizen newspaper which referred to him as a murderer, and judges who dealt with McBride who was challenging this, were confused because they did not realise the TRC was a fake organisation.
Her theories are based on sustainability “ecolaw” issues and until these are resolved she considered other efforts at promoting or advancing human rights was futile.
In the McBride case she said the TRC had also made no attempt to find out how much of apartheid violence had been actually caused by rapid population growth “colliding” with scarce natural resources.
This included what she termed the ANC’s “breeding war policies”.
McBride also apparently suffered from “battered TRC fraud syndrome” and that only a “social forgiveness contract” would work in South Africa, she continued.
Johnstone made an another, eleventh-hour, “friend of the court” application to the “Reitz Four” case of student racist abuse before judgement in Bloemfontein last year.
In that matter she included her complaint that the South African media had censored her submission to the McBride case, the contents of which may have been relevant to the Reitz case, “had they been aware of it”.
She revisited her argument about the “fake” TRC and wanted the court to clarify whether the defendants belonged to different cultures.
She questioned whether their counsel had told them of their constitutional rights to invoke cultural law and for the presiding officer to decide which legal system applied to them in the matter.
Johnstone believed the media’s “censorship” of her organisation’s concerns about the earth’s sustainability would lead to instability and anarchy.
She was also unhappy that various complaints about media coverage and non-coverage have not been heeded by the press ombudsman and she wants the court to have the ombudsman’s decisions reviewed.
Crimen injuria charge
Johnstone’s complaint against Sapa’s editor Mark van der Velden related in part to Independent Democrats’ leader Patricia de Lille’s crimen injuria complaint against her.
She had been trying to get various newspaper representatives and politicians to act on information she had that she said claimed that HIV/Aids was man-made.
According to the lengthy background she provides on one of several websites she uses, including one called “media prosetitutes (sic), at times using different names which include Lara Braveheart and Andrea Muhrrtuyn, she had not been successful in getting anyone to act on important information she had.
She then allegedly sent racially offensive SMSs to De Lille which led to De Lille laying the complaint and her having to go to court to defend herself.
According to a reporter covering the case for Sapa, an orderly told the presiding officer that Johnstone was being hostile and would not appear in court, leading to a warning that she might be sent for psychiatric evaluation if she continued to behave in this fashion.
Johnstone writes on her website that the reason she did not appear in court because there was no proper warrant for her arrest, and that this also meant she did not have to participate in an interview with a psychologist she was supposed to have seen.
She felt that Sapa refused to correct the report to give her side of the story, and accused Sapa of lies and fraud on the grounds of its slogan “if Sapa knows … South Africa knows”.
The press ombudsman would also not help with this, she submits.
Crimen injuria law ‘ridiculous’
Van der Velden commented that Sapa’s response at the time to Johnstone, in 2009, was that the news agency had reported, in good faith, on information available in the court and from authorised court officials.
Johnstone believes the law of crimen injuria is “ridiculous” and dates back to a belief in curses from witches.
Johnstone says the South African government was deliberately punishing her for her beliefs and asked editors for their comment on whether they objected to her “legal and political persecution by De Lille and the [National Prosecuting Authority]”.
Many ignored her or said they were not going to comment.
In her papers to the Constitutional Court, she states that she made and later withdrew a complaint against the “Green Scorpions” because the Sunday Times was not publishing her views.
The bribery allegation is because “Sanef editors’ conspiracy to censor the details of the Radical Honesty SA Amicus before the Concourt from the people of South Africa, are an unlawful and intentional indirect offer to State Officials (the Concourt Justices, and other SA TRC elite politicians whose reputations would prefer the contents of the Radical Honesty SA Amicus to the Concourt to remain censored) to pressure and/or bribe the Justices with the opportunity to ignore the Radical Honesty SA Amicus in their deliberations, as if its arguments and allegations do not exist, because its contents have been censored from public discourse; in return for such officials’ consideration in return for action or inaction in their official capacities.”
Johnstone intends representing herself if granted access, because she believes there is no legal counsel in South Africa with the ability to understand her theories. – Sapa