Sanef has 'descended on political arena': EFF

EFF Leader Julius Malema's speech urging his supporters to deal with female journalists is ultimately a call to violence. This was heard in the Equality Court in Pretoria, in the case between a group of journalists, the South African National Editor's forum and the red berets. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - The EFF can't take the blame for the intimidation and harassment of journalists by its supporters.

That's what the party's legal counsel has argued in the Equality Court in Pretoria.

The South African National Editors' Forum and five journalists have told the court they're under attack by EFF leader Julius Malema and his followers.

Sanef says if journalists aren't protected, it will be "open season" for attacks on the media.

The EFF is being accused of creating an environment that encourages the threatening and harassment of journalists.

READ: Sanef, EFF to square off in court

Sanef's lawyers are arguing that if someone is acting appallingly in your name, then you must speak up.

They also say if anyone has a problem with a particular journalist, there are channels that can be used to address this.

But the EFF insists it doesn't have control over the people behind the attacks and that it can't be held liable for the actions of these unidentified individuals.

“They are here because they want the EFF's hands to be tied with a rope. They want to push and they want to pull the punches and also tell us how to respond when they have literally descended on the political arena,” said EFF spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

The party is also blaming some of the journalists who are part of this court action, for contributing to the situation by taking biased positions.

The matter continues on Tuesday.

The EFF and Sanef face off in court. Sanef says there is a need to protect journalists - otherwise, it will be open season for attacks on media. Courtesy #DStv403