In the latest revelation contained in the #GuptaLeaks emails, BLF leader Andile Mngxitama has been linked to the controversial Gupta family’s campaign to discredit certain media organisations.
Amabhungane revealed on Monday that Mngxitama met with a Gupta associate, Santosh Choubey, in February 2016 and also received instructions from the family to write an article discrediting BizNews Editor Alec Hogg.
Mngxitama’s organisation the Black First Land First (BLF) is notorious for its harassment of journalists, particularly white journalists, which it accuses of being racist and spreading lies.
It has also defended the family, with some of its member seen chasing off protesters at the family’s compound in Saxonworld earlier this year.
Mngxitama appears to have been sent an email that Amabhungane suggests is linked to London based PR firm Bell Pottinger and the Gupta’s.
The email appears to contain instructions to Mngxitama.
It reads; “Pls see, and the part where he writes about Alex (sic) Hogg funders, can you write on this something and send some questions to him, for source of funding, legal/illegal, who are the funders. Thanks.”
Mngxitama has for sometime denied getting funding from the Gupta family, but the #GuptaLeaks have revealed that he has emailed them asking for funding.
Since they were leaked to various media houses, the #GuptaLeaks, emails containing communication of the Gupta family, have also provided email exchanges between some government officials and the Guptas.
It was also revealed by the Sunday Times that President Jacob Zuma was bought a lavish mansion in Dubai by the family.
But Zuma, in a written reply in parliament, denied this, saying he owns no property outside the country.
The BLF has faced some backlash from the public on its constant defense of the family and its harassment of journalists. The group had gone to protest outside the home of Tiso Blackstar Editor Peter Bruce last month, where police were called to intervene.
The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) even went to court to stop the group for threatening journalists, but Mngxitama has promised to soldier on with his quest.
EFF leader Julius Malema has told journalists not to be threatened by BLF and has labelled the group as “clowns”.