Senior fellow at the Institute for Race Relations, Helen Zille, says a win for…

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Senior fellow at the Institute for Race Relations, Helen Zille, says a win for…

Senior fellow at the Institute for Race Relations, Helen Zille, says a win for the South African Editor’s Forum against the EFF at the Equality Court could be a blow to freedom of speech. SANEF is locked in a court battle with the EFF, against what it says is sustained intimidation against journalists by EFF leader Julius Malema and his supporters. Zille says she is defending the constitution and suggests that journalists not take politicians to court over sentiments which may be construed as hurtful. “I am not defending the EFF, I am defending the constitution. It defined hate speech very clearly. The statement is only hate speech if it contains a threat of violence. So saying something hurtful or hateful is not unconstitutional, it is defended by freedom of speech laws, unless it is accompanied by a threat of violence. So we have to work out the difference in terms of law, and I don’t think the SANEF case meets that standard at all and in fact curb freedom of expression and media freedom because media freedom depends on freedom of expression. “


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