SANEF calls on journalists to lay charges of intimidation against Somizi Mhlongo

SANEF calls on journalists to lay charges of intimidation against Somizi Mhlongo

The South African National Editors Forums (SANEF) has called on two journalists, who have allegedly been intimidated by fans of TV personality Somizi Mhlongo, to lay charges of intimidation against him.

Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung surprised a waitress this week.

SANEF has further called on Multichoice to officially "distance itself" from Mhlongo's comments and demand that he apologise to both journalists. 


This is after Sunday World acting editor Kabelo Khumalo and City Press journalist Julia Madibogo were insulted by Mhlongo and threatened by his fans when he took to Instagram to reveal the journalists’ personal details, after they offered him his right of reply on separate stories they were working on.


One of the stories was in connection with reports that Mhlongo was divorcing his husband Mohale Motaung-Mhlongo.


The other story related to his cooking show, “Dinner at Somizi’s” being put on hold amidst legal proceedings instituted by Hastings Moeng.  

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“Instead of responding to the questions raised, Mhlongo opted to insult Khumalo and his parents, calling them obscene names and abused Madibogo. Mhlongo further took a screengrab of the text of his conversation with both journalists and used his Instagram account to reveal the text and cellphone numbers of the journalists. We believe this is irresponsible in the extreme and potentially unlawful conduct. Mhlongo has a massive support base and a following in excess of almost 4-million on the Instagram social platform and his followers have resorted to intimidation and harassment of journalists on all social media platforms. They have subjected both Madibogo and Khumalo to torrents of insults and threats,” says Sanef Executive Director Kate Skinner. 


Mhlongo’s fans are accused of breaching the Press Code.


“Some have directly threatened Madibogo and Khumalo’s wife with rape while Khumalo received threats to his life. The fans also threatened the safety of the journalists’ families. They have tormented them for doing their jobs and asking questions in line with the Press Code that demands journalists to give a right of reply to everyone they intend to write stories about,” adds Skinner.


Although Mhlongo has since deleted the social media posts from his Instagram page, both journalists continue to be abused.


Skinner says Mhlongo must apologise "unreservedly" to both journalists. 


“SANEF calls on Mhlongo to unreservedly apologise to these journalists and the public on all his social platforms for his unbecoming behaviour. He must call on his followers to stop harassing and intimidating them."

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