Following our statement issued yesterday regarding information received by ActionSA apparently confirming rumours that former President Jacob Zuma was readying to leave South Africa, ActionSA’s Spokesperson, Lerato Ngobeni, has received a threat.
Despite the email’s poor justifications to protect Zuma, it contains several threats of violence. Section 16 of our Constitution protects the right to freedom of expression, but does not extend to propaganda for war, incitement of imminent violence, or advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender, or religion, and constitutes incitement to cause harm.
People are welcome to differ with our perspectives and challenge them – this is the essence of democracy – but what cannot be tolerated are threats of violence when ActionSA is exposing information in the national public interest.
The emailed threat stated the following:
“Dear Lerato and your media,
Let me bring this to you and your bosses attention! If you are the author of the complaint about Zuma getting his medical attention. As a former statesman he is to be catered for by the tax payers yes! Why don’t you you find it absurb that tax payers are footing bills for Apartheid Killers?
This is not a threat but if you are a Big Tree we shall one day cut you down. You all know how your Ramacovid was milking ESKOM with the WMC . But because WMC is feeding this complainant! He or she! Sees nothing wrong from whites crimes and those sellout blacks! This will end in tears!
I have a ward! That should say my standing in the organization of Ruppert and Oppenheimers called ANC!
Am ready to denounce it.
You will be asking yourself who am i? And thats what other sellout will ask!
Go to the History of the SACP inception in SA! You will find my greatgrans name there! BJ Marks if alive would tell you who am I.I am of that family that stood up against black injustice in our land! Not white land.
Again this will end in tears and Trauma.
From this email we deduce the following: that WMC refers to “White Monopoly Capital”; Ramacovid to mean President Cyril Ramaphosa; and “your media” to mean ActionSA, as well as the free press in our country who have the right to do their work without fear or favour.
So, let me be clear: as leader of ActionSA, I call upon all South Africans to denounce behaviour like this.
If the supporters of former President Zuma are used to intimidating others, even including State President Ramaphosa, and those who they call “sell outs,” they should take note that those tactics will not deter us.
We refuse to live in a society where to demonstrate black solidarity, we must behave like sheep, question nothing, do nothing, and remain silent in the face of blatant injustice and intimidation.
If the yardstick of how black leaders in a democracy are to behave is the behaviour of apartheid leaders, then all black people in this country and across the continent ought to be ashamed. If stealing from your own people and intimidating them into silence justifies your sense of black pride, then I am sorry, we are not of the same kin.
We need the masses of our people, the silent majority, to join hands and come together to fight modern day oppression and intimidation, as we did the apartheid government. These criminal elements seem to have made themselves at home in our political system.
Finally, following the receipt of the above email, ActionSA has opened a case of intimidation at Sandringham Police Station. We implore our criminal justice system to protect our freedoms, and our citizens, against these thugs whose sole aim is to destroy the rule of law in our country so that our people live in constant fear of them. That will simply not happen.
It is critical for me to clarify to those who threaten ActionSA and its leadership, that we will never fear criminals. We will continue to do what has been asked of us by millions of South Africans, and no amount of threats and intimidation will distract us from this task.