South Africa


Karima Brown threatened with rape via WhatsApp by EFF supporters

EFF leader Julius Malema addresses the media in Cape Town, 4 December 2018. Photo: Leila Dougan

EFF supporters have threatened journalist, producer and Broadcasting host Karima Brown with rape and violence by skin peeling after the party’s leader Julius Malema published her mobile number on Twitter.

Karima Brown mistakenly put notes to the producer of her radio and television programmes onto the EFF media WhatsApp group suggesting ways to explore a meeting between Malema and elders on the East Rand of Johannesburg on Wednesday morning.

She instructed her producer or journalists to look at who the elders were and if they were all male.

Watch out for the elders if they all male and who appointed them. So ask the so what question,” read her instruction.

The EFF interpreted this as spying on the organisation.

Malema copied and pasted the message onto this Twitter page where he has 2.3-million followers.

The followers immediately began threatening Brown on her phone via both voice and chat messages.   “You need a serious????. You’re full of nonsense,” said one message. In emoji language, the brinjals are symbols of a penis. Another said: “We not playing here. We dealing with racists…step aside or we will crush your prolapsed vagina.”  In another message, she was called an “Indian whore” and “bitch”.

Numerous threats of violence were made against Brown by EFF members who took her number off Malema’s Twitter feed.  Said one message: “Our forfathers (sic) where (sic) robbed of this Land (sic) by the pink and they think we are the Mandela generation where (sic) are tolarent (sic). 

Brown my dear, if only we’d be asked or told to go toe to toe with the pink, id (sic) be the first in line,

My wish is to see the pink skin pealed (sic) off their skin, i wish for smoke ash of their pink bodies lying on the ground.

I wish to see the pink bleed and we peep screw them till they cry for mercy.”

In another message, Brown was threatened by a meme of an image of Mampintsha, the producer alleged to have beaten up musician Babes Wodumo.

Daily Maverick special report has found that this is at least the tenth attack by EFF leaders and their supporters on journalists in the past year. The party and its supporters are facing numerous criminal and civil charges related to attacks and threats against journalists.

This is the second time Brown has been attacked on her WhatsApp by EFF supporters. In December, she and News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson both laid charges against EFF supporters for threatening them.

SANEF is seeking to interdict the EFF from threatening journalists in the Equality Court after a series of attacks on journalists in November 2018.

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) condemns the systemic, abusive and cruel social media attack levelled against Talk Show Host and veteran journalist Karima Brown over the last 24 hours by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and his supporters,” said SANEF in a statement on Wednesday.

We call on the EFF leadership to stop with this vicious attack on the media and allow journalists to do their work without fear and intimidation. The attacks on women in media in particular and the abuse levelled against them are contrary to the spirit of wanting to protect women in a country where violence against women has reached pandemic levels.

Only yesterday the EFF stood tall and condemned the abuse levelled against artist Babes Wodumo.

We also remind Malema that when his personal details were published on Twitter – SANEF condemned it, just as we condemn his actions to put out Brown’s telephone number. We further note that the unwarranted attacks on Brown are similar to the previous attacks by the EFF and its supporters on women journalists – a matter that SANEF has placed before the equality courts,” said the SANEF statement.

Malema told Power FM in an interview that: “Karima Brown is an operative; she’s not a journalist or an editor. We need to expose journalists who are state security.”

The EFF has refused to apologise or to take Brown’s details off Twitter. In a statement, the party stated again that she is an “ANC operative”. The party said: “We have mentioned her in name because we do want to tarnish all other journalists by making generalisations. Our argument is with her, because we believe she holds no position, anywhere, to be deploying journalists to cover any news.” DM


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