Why judge granted Gupta gag order

Copy of inlPicsCopy of ST Julius Malema warns feb 5 INDEPENDENT MEDIA Last week, Julius Malema told a press conference that he banned any journalist belonging to the Gupta stable from covering and attending any EFF events. File picture: Antoine de Ras/The Star

Pretoria - No reasonable and right-thinking person would consider the utterances made by Julius Malema against the Gupta family and their staff as merely campaigning for the upcoming elections, rather than a threat of violence.

That’s according to Judge Johan Louw, who on Friday gave his reasons in the High Court in Pretoria for interdicting Malema and the EFF from threatening or inciting violence against the Gupta family and their employees.

The order says Malema and his party members may not refer to the Gupta family again in a threatening or derogatory manner.

Read: EFF has 25 reasons Guptas must go

Neither Malema nor his party members may utter anything which could be damaging to the Gupta family during public speeches nor in media releases. They also may not bar The New Age or ANN7 from any public events.

The Guptas obtained the urgent order after they said they felt threatened by public statements made by Malema and his party members.

This began on Thursday last week when Malema, during a press briefing on national television, said the Guptas should leave the country and that “South Africa is not for sale over a plate of curry”.

Malema also made it clear that they would be removed from South Africa “by whatever means”.

Read: Malema to fight Guptas gag order

Judge Louw said Malema did not deny this and even repeated “it was time the Guptas vacated the country”. The Guptas saw this to be a clear message the EFF would use violence against them and their employees.

Malema argued this was not so and the family was over-reacting.

Judge Louw rejected this, saying the Guptas had a reasonable apprehension violence would be committed against them.

The Malema camp will, however, appeal and has 14 days to lodge a claim.

zelda.venter@inl.co.za

Pretoria News

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