Defamation: Malema ordered to file papers
Cape Town – Suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema and three others were ordered by the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday to file responding papers to a defamation case lodged by DA leader Helen Zille.
Judge Nathan Erasmus ordered Malema, ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, Khayelitsha councillor Andile Lili and the youth league to file their discovery affidavit by April 24.
This affidavit formed part of a pre-trial process in which both parties could 'discover' pertinent facts about evidence and witnesses to build a case.
The defendants had only filed a notice of intention to oppose the case and their plea in response to the summons issued in May 2010.
Erasmus ordered them to supply an address to which documents could be served, as there had been difficulty in locating them.
The judge expressed disbelief that the sheriff had difficulty getting hold of the respondents, saying he could have located them himself simply by reading newspapers.
"I consider it amazing that I see these people apparently all over the show and the sheriff can't find them," he told the court.
"Malema, I saw in the papers, was in church on Good Friday and Shivambu is in the news every day."
The judge said it was inexcusable that individuals chose to ignore court orders, potentially bringing the justice administration into disrepute.
"Court rules are there to be complied with by everyone. All litigants must be treated equally."
He ordered the defendants on Tuesday to pay punitive costs for Zille's application for the court order.
Zille was suing the youth league and its members for R1.4m, for comments made about her and the Democratic Alliance from 2009.
She said Shivambu had called her a "racist girl" and "sick woman" and claimed that her all-male executive were her boyfriends and concubines.
She also took issue with Malema calling her executive council a "group of racist Helen Zille garden boys" at a rally in Cato Manor, Durban, in February 2009.
At the same rally, he apparently referred to her as a "racist", "colonialist" and "imperialist".
Lili was also accused of calling her a racist in January 2010.
The group had yet to apologise or retract their statements.
In a special plea document, Malema stated that all his statements had been made in the spirit of freedom of expression, in a political capacity.
He stated that he and Zille were both public figures and thus engaged in public debates.
He contended that he had been the victim of an insult by Zille, in which she called him an "Inkwekwe" or young uncircumcised boy in 2009.