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By Martin Williams

Councillor at City

Mbalula’s BLF threat is just a bluff

The police have ample evidence should they wish to charge the BLF. But they won’t.

Do you think Police Minister Fikile Mbalula believes his own bluster when he warns Black First Land First (BLF) about tough action if they intimidate journalists? He’s bluffing. All talk and no action. That’s his style.

Certainly BLF members don’t believe him. They don’t give a damn about a court order prohibiting them from harassing journalists. They continued their bullying before, during and after court proceedings.

Journalists were abused on the steps of the court, in front of TV cameras. So the SA Police Service have ample evidence, should they wish to charge offenders. But they won’t.

During a fracas outside Peter Bruce’s Parkview home, police did nothing when BLF members struck journalist Karima Brown, dislodging her spectacles. Nor did they act when the thugs manhandled editor Tim Cohen.

Journalists have described what happened to them. Where are the police dockets? Indeed, it was precisely because of the lack of police action that a civil court was approached for protection. If police had been doing their jobs, the interdict against the BLF would not be necessary.

We are told that the “SAPS and crime intelligence” are monitoring the BLF. Really? They are more likely monitoring journalists. And what are they doing about obvious BLF transgressions? Nothing.

This is reminiscent of State Security Minister David Mahlobo’s statement: “We had intelligence on Vuwani a year before it all happened.”

Intelligence is not to be trusted. Consider the spate of high-profile break-ins. Intelligence is being used to commit crime, not to prevent it.

Vuwani is the place where more than 20 schools were set alight last year. If bright spark Mahlobo knew in advance, what did he do to prevent damage?

To the likes of Mbalula and Mahlobo, words have vague meanings. Over the weekend, Mbalula tweeted: “We will act firmly against those who undermine the state – rest assured, it’s not a threat.” Well, if it’s not a threat, don’t bother saying it.

What he means is, “It’s not an empty threat.”

And if Mbalula and his spies are looking for “those who undermine the state”, they should visit Saxonwold, Luthuli House and Nkandla.

The state is undermined by the Guptas and the ANC, with not-my-president Jacob Zuma as the lowest common denominator. From leaked e-mails, we know the BLF is linked to the Guptas.

BLF leader Andile Mngxitama begged the family for money. In return, Mngxitama and his thugs follow a script written by British PR firm Bell Pottinger, where banks and “white monopoly capital” are targeted in order to deflect attention from Zupta corruption.

That knowledge is taken for granted. Now join the dots. Ergo, by inspiring and sponsoring Mngxitama, the Guptas and Bell Pottinger are complicit in the intimidation of journalists.

Indeed, Stephen Grootes, one of the journalists menaced by the BLF, notes on Daily Maverick: “I would have to ask if the threats made against the lives of my colleagues, and myself, are the direct result of the actions of Bell Pottinger.”

Will Mbalula, or anyone in the security cluster, go after those behind the intimidation of journalists? Whose idea was it, and whose money sustains the thugs?

“Intelligence” knows.

DA city councillor for Joburg Martin Williams

DA city councillor for Joburg Martin Williams

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