The Economic Freedom Fighters have banned online publication Daily Maverick, its investigative unit Scorpio and independent investigative journalism unit amaBhungane from the party's events.
EFF leader Julius Malema made the announcement during a memorial service for the late former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe in Soweto.
During the address, Malema alleged that the publications exist 'to pursue the interest of Pravin Gordhan' and said he has instructed his party not to answer any questions from them.
Eusebius McKasier speaks to the EFF national spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi on why they took the decision.
We have taken the decision to recuse association in any space or to speak to the investigative unit of the Scorpio AmaBhungane and Daily Maverick. These are the entities that we have decided to enter into a boycott. We have requested that they do not attend any of our functions.— Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, National Spokesperson - Economic Freedom Fighters
That is not in any way to say they can not write about us, they are free to do so, they can be critical of us. We believe because of the information we have received that they are working with politicians in a campaign against the EFF.— Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, National Spokesperson - Economic Freedom Fighters
They have become extremely personal which makes working with them difficult, Ndlozi adds.
We don't think they are journalists anymore. They no longer act professionally with us. We believe it is better we don't interact with them.— Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, National Spokesperson - Economic Freedom Fighters
He says the EFF has anonymous sources providing information on Van Wyk and Thamm.
We have singled out people who work in these units AmaBhungane and the Scorpio, the journalists of the Daily Maverick's Marianne Thamm; Pauli van Wyk and the journalist associated with those units. They are working with politicians like Pravin Gordhan and Derek Hanekom we have it on a very good record.— Marianne Thamm, Journalist/ columnist - Daily Maverick
Constitutional Law expert Professor Pierre De Vos weighs in on the constitutional aspects of the EFF's decision.
As a political party, you cannot do something that will make the work of journalists more difficult. If you are going to deny journalists access you are making it difficult for them to report and that diminishes their right to freedom of expression and that is unconstitutional.— Professor Pierre De Vos, Constitutional Law expert
EFF ban on media organisations: When a political party takes steps to prevent members of the media from doing their job, it will be infringing on the right to freedom of expression of both the media and voters who rely on it. https://t.co/D9xFGAfmPH pic.twitter.com/t9oXU6qaWq— Pierre de Vos (@pierredevos) September 18, 2019
Listen to the full interviews below...