Former Malema ally comes to his defence... or does he?

2016-11-07 16:06
Julius Malema addresses supporters. (News24)

Julius Malema addresses supporters. (News24)

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ICYMI: Julius Malema in court over land, new tack on Gordhan charges, penguin love triangle

2016-11-07 11:30

Watch the leading news for Monday 7 November with Erin Bates here.WATCH

Cape Town - Former Economic Freedom Fighters MP Andile Mngxitama on Monday expressed support for Julius Malema as he faces charges for allegedly urging party supporters to invade land.

"The charges being brought against Mr Malema in this regard are baseless, vindictive and vexatious," Mngxitama said.

"The charge that Mr Malema is even remotely involved with land occupation is an invention of a fertile and sick mind."

Mngxitama, who parted ways with the party under acrimonious circumstances in April 2015, appealed to the NPA to drop the charges. After he left the EFF, he became convenor of the Black First Land First movement.

The EFF leader appeared in the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act of 1956, after he told his supporters at its Bloemfontein elective conference in 2014 to "occupy unoccupied land".

‘Land thieves’

AS IT HAPPENED: 'No white person is the rightful owner of land in SA' - Malema

Mngxitama said he was willing to provide an affidavit under oath to prove Malema had "long abandoned land occupation as a strategy" to reclaim land "stolen by whites".

He listed five pieces of "evidence" that proved Malema and the EFF had changed their stance on land grabs. These included that the party amended its "cardinal pillar" on land in December 2015 to say it would only occupy "unused" land, he said.

Malema met land owners whom he had "previously called land thieves" in Stellenbosch to assure them the EFF would not occupy any land which was in use.

"Media reports of the event say that after the meeting, white farmers took selfies with Mr Malema and that he had also asked for donations from these white farmers as a token of goodwill and partnership," Mngxitama said.

Other pieces of "evidence" were Malema’s tour to London to meet Lord Renwick, who had been critical of land occupation in Zimbabwe; his friendship with luxury goods mogul Johan Rupert; and the party's recent alignment with the Democratic Alliance to take over several key metros after the August 3 elections.

He said Rupert was the "symbolic representation of land thieves" in South Africa and would not likely be friends with people committed to land occupation.

Mngxitama said should the NPA not drop the charges against Malema, BLF would apply to the high court and provide evidence that Malema "never led a land occupation in his life".

The Newcastle Magistrate's Court postponed the matter to December 7.

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Read more on:    eff  |  julius malema  |  politics  |  land

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