Being a public figure is the life you chose and you are always going to be under scrutiny. We will keep asking questions, whether you like or not. You are not going to silence us by using intimidation tactics. If the kitchen is too hot for you then get out.
Such bullying tactics won't work: they'll only serve to spur us on to dig more. You are no holy cow, you are not untouchable.
You got away with the Fikile Mbalula issue when you made your private conversation public, when you claimed in a video on social media that Mbalula had told you that President Cyril Ramaphosa would extend the nationwide lockdown. But I think you have crossed the line now and we need to call you to order.
We hope your employers – who ironically are media houses, the SABC and MultiChoice – will come out and take a stand to protect journalists rights and media freedom.
There are channels to follow when you are not happy with stories written about you, Somizi. You can either approach the office of the Press Ombudsman or the courts – as you always threaten to do. You are sailing in dangerous waters, for if anything happens to these journalists you will be the first suspect after sicking your supporters on them.
You should be the last person to diss journalists, the same people who helped to raise your profile.
According to Sanef, the two journalists have been threatened and harassed by Somizi’s fans and followers.
The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has called for action against media personality Somizi Mhlongo for insulting journalists.
This comes after he doxxed two journalists after they tried to solicit comment from him regarding news articles they were working on at the weekend.
Julia Madibogo of City Press sent Mhlongo a message asking for comment on allegations that he was divorcing his husband, Mohale Motaung, while Kabelo Khumalo approached him for comment on allegations that the production of his cooking show, Dinner at Somizi’s, had been put on hold amid a legal dispute.
In his responses, Mhlongo insulted Khumalo and his parents, and shared screenshots of his conversations with both journalists, revealing their numbers.
“So @city_press has become a tabloid… ok… two can play the game… to stand a chance to win I don’t know what, dial the number and let Julia know what it feels like to have yo privacy invaded unprovoked,” posted Somizi in an Instagram post that has since been deleted.
The star has been subject of criticism on social media, with South Africans calling him to order for allegedly exposing the journalists to abuse from his followers.
#Somizi must accept that his marriage is a matter of public interest and people cannot just back off. He put his whole wedding on a TV channel which the masses pay for on a monthly basis. Threatening the journalist with law for doing their work is also wrong.
— S E P H I R I❄️ (@sephiritsikeli) January 18, 2021
According to Sanef, Madibogo has been threatened, while Khumalo’s wife threatened with rape.
“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 four 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. 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 of journalists to give a right of reply to everyone they intend to write stories about,” said Sanef.