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- SANEF has called for action against Somizi Mhlongo for insults directed at acting Sundai World editor Kabela Khumalo and Julia Madibogo of the City Press.
- Mhlongo did not comment on the line of questioning the journalists, but insulted Khumal and his parents by calling them obscene names and “abusing” Madibogo.
- Mhlongo further recorded the screen of a text conversation with both journalists and posted it on his personal Instagram, exposing the names of the journalists and mobile phone numbers.
The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) issued a statement in response to insults to Somizi Mhlongo addressed to acting editors Sundai World, Kabela Khumalo and Julia Madibogo of the Citi Press.
Madibogo from the City Press approached Idols SA judge to comment on allegations that he divorced his husband Mohale Motaung-Mhlongo.
Khumalo contacted Mhlong for comment following a report released by the production Dinner at Somizia was put on hold amid legal proceedings initiated by Hastings Moeng.
In 2020, Mohno issued a call to Mhlongo and the MultiChoice broadcaster, claiming that his intellectual property had been stolen when Mhlongo launched the popular show.
Moeng claims that he conceived the concept of the show back in 2014, when he contacted Mhlong via e-mail and set out an almost identical tone to the structure he currently uses. He is now seeking “reasonable compensation” with an interest rate of 15% on the decided amount.
Mhlongo did not comment on the line of questioning the journalists, but insulted Khumal and his parents by calling them obscene names and “abusing” Madibogo.
Mhlongo further recorded the screen of a text conversation with both journalists and posted it on his personal Instagram, exposing the names of the journalists and mobile numbers to his 3.7 million Instagram followers.
“We find this irresponsible in extreme and potentially illegal behavior. Mhlongo has a massive support base, and followers who exceed nearly 4 million on the social platform Instagram and his followers resort to intimidation and harassment of journalists on all social media platforms. Both Madibogo and Khumalo are subjected to torrents of insults and threats “, it is stated in the announcement of SANEF.
“Some directly threatened Madibog and Khumalo’s wife with rape, while Khumalo received life-threatening threats. Fans also threatened the safety of journalists’ families. They tortured them to do their job and ask questions under the Press Code requiring journalists to give answers to everyone about whom they intend to write stories “, continues in the statement.
Although Mhlongo has since deleted posts from his Instagram account, journalists continue to be abused, the statement said.
“Cyber trolls have intensified ongoing attacks on women journalists. His actions have worsened an already hostile work environment, especially for women journalists. This is a direct attack on media freedom in the country. Similar attacks are being carried out on journalists around the world with the intention of silencing them.” especially the voice of women and the stories they tell. ”
SANEF calls on Mhlong to unreservedly apologize to these journalists and the public on all his social platforms for his indecent behavior.
“He must call on his followers to stop harassing and intimidating them. Further, we urge journalists to file an indictment for intimidation and to officially distance itself from Mhlong’s comments. SANEF reiterates its call on the journalism industry to urgently ensure the safety of journalists, especially women journalists, and to note that support is needed to deal with online attacks, “the statement said.