The Equality Court on Thursday dismissed an application by the South African National Editors Forum and five journalists against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and its leader Julius Malema.
Sanef and the journalists had asked the court to declare statements that Malema made outside the state capture commission in November last year as hate speech.
The journalists are Adriaan Basson, Pauli van Wyk, Max du Preez, Ranjeni Munusamy and Barry Bateman.
In his address outside the commission last year, Malema criticised journalists who did not ask public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, who was on the day testifying before the commission, the questions that he, Malema, wanted to hear. He likened the media to the apartheid government’s “Stratcom” disinformation campaign.
Malema told his supporters: “Where we meet the enemy, we must crush the enemy. On Facebook, Twitter, social media, be there, guard the revolution. When the enemy raises its ugly head, don’t hit the head, cut off the head.”
He also urged his supporters to “attack” and to “occupy every house, every space in society”, including social media platforms.
The matter was argued before the Equality Court, sitting in the Pretoria high court, in August.