AmaBhungane investigative journalist Micah Reddy was allegedly assaulted by Black First Land First (BLF) members in Braamfontein after a panel interview with its leader Andile Mngxitama on Monday afternoon.
AmaBhungane’s Sam Sole said Reddy was physically harassed by people who identified themselves as BLF members while trying to leave the panel studio after the debate.
Reddy is expected to lay charges against BLF, he said.
“It’s a clear violation of the court interdict. We have a responsibility to lay charges,” Sole said.
It was not immediately clear what the panel interview was about.
This comes just days after the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) won a court interdict against BLF and Mngxitama at the High Court in Johannesburg preventing members from intimidating, assaulting, and going to journalists’ homes.
The editor of Business Day, Tim Cohen, was reportedly assaulted as he attempted to take a picture of BLF supporters who had gathered outside Tiso Blackstar editor-at-large Peter Bruce’s house in Johannesburg.
AmaB, along with Daily Maverick, News24 and other publications have been reporting on a cache of leaked emails that implicate the controversial Gupta family with senior government officials. The leaked emails also implicated Mngxitama and the BLF in dealings with the family.
They must stop provoking us
Speaking to News24, Mngxitama claimed BLF members were provoked by Reddy.
“They must stop panicking. They must stop provoking us.”
He said BLF members allegedly heard Reddy swearing at them.
“When I got out, there was an altercation and I stopped the commotion. He is lucky because we don’t fight black people.”
The BLF leader added that he did not fear any criminal charges against him, encouraging Reddy to press charges.
“Let them go, I was there. I will be [a] state witness… they are trying very hard to create the impression that we fight.”
In the same breath however, he reiterated that Reddy was lucky he was a black journalist.
“If it was [a] white journalist, we would have dealt with it by any means necessary.”
Police told News24 they were not yet aware of the incident. – News24