The Economic Freedom Fighters on Monday voiced condemnation and disgust at the media following reports that party leader Julius Malema lived in a house owned by alleged tobacco smuggler Adriano Mazzotti.
“The EFF condemns in the strongest terms and with the disgust it deserves, the publication of CIC (commander in chief) Julius Malema’s family residence.
“In an attempt to discredit the leader of the EFF, media has published the residential address where his wife, the mother of two infant children lives,” EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
Ndlozi said the reports, which situated the house in a luxury security estate in Johannesburg’s Hyde Park, compromised the security of Malema, as well as his wife and children.
“No one, including civil society organisations or Sanef (the South African National Editors’ Forum) has said anything when the security of the Malema family is laid bare on public platforms.
“After the journalist working on this story confirmed that the Malema family lives in that residential address they have gone on to publishing it, including images of the property itself.”
He went on to accuse the media of targeting the EFF and warned that the party would not tolerate being attacked.
“We must warn all in the media that we will not tolerate their unethical, double standard and obsessive attack on the EFF leadership. The invasion of the privacy of the EFF leadership and their families, all in an attempt to discredit our revolution and its objectives, cannot be tolerated.”
Mazzotti has a long-standing association with the EFF and paid the R200 0000 registration fee on behalf of the party ahead of the 2014 general elections.
News articles on the property Malema uses when he is in Johannesburg recalled that in July investigative journalist Jacques Pauw wrote that Malema had accepted a loan from a business associate of Mazzotti’s.
Ndlozi, citing Pauw publishing a photograph of one of Malema’s children, said the media had no respect for the rights of the family.
“Still, no one raised any problems with him because the dignity, the safety and the general security of the Malema family is not important to journalists in this country.”
The EFF, and Malema in particular, have in the wake of findings implicating it in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal carried a campaign of insults and threats against journalists, accusing individual reporters of bias and racism and urging his supporters to “deal with them decisively”.
African News Agency (ANA)