Veteran journalist Karima Brown brought the matter between herself and EFF’s Julius Malema before the IEC, which awaits Brown’s final submissions before it forges a way forward.
On Monday, 1 April 2019, the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said that Brown had brought the matter before the commission and it was being dealt with.
“Yes, the IEC did receive a complaint which we duly referred to our internal structure, the office for electoral offences. There’s been a referral to Mr [Julius] Malema to ask for his side of the story. One of the core elements of natural justice is that you’ve got to hear the other side. That was done. Mr Malema has since furnished the IEC with his version. The version has now been placed before Miss Brown who has requested time until tomorrow,” said Mamabolo.
On 6 March 2019, veteran journalist Karima Brown had mistakenly posted an editorial briefing on the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) WhatsApp group. The message was meant for journalists who were covering an EFF event and was giving direction on the coverage. The message read, “Keep an eye out for this. Who are these elders. Are they all male and how are they chosen. Keep watching brief.”
After this message mistakenly ended up on the EFF WhatsApp group, Malema then tweeted a screenshot of the message, which also exposed Brown’s personal cellphone number. As a result, Brown said she received threats from EFF supporters, some of whom were threatening to rape and kill her. This then forced Brown to open a case against the party and its leader Julius Malema.
The IEC confirmed that it received submissions from Malema, after Brown had brought the matter before the commission. Mamabolo said that Brown would now have to decide whether she wants to make further submissions on the matter or not.
“After tomorrow [2 April 2019], the matter will then be before the commission to determine a way forward. At this point it would be counter-productive to want to speculate on which direction the matter will go,” he said.