Malema gets new lawyer

2012-04-12 15:57

Suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has sacked his lawyers, advocates Dali Mpofu and Patric Mtshaulana, and replaced them with advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, who will now take his appeal forward – in writing.

Malema’s appeal hearing against his expulsion was supposed to take place at Luthuli House today, but he asked for a postponement, saying his lawyers weren’t available.

Malema appeared alongside league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu and league secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa, who are appealing their three-year suspension and suspended sentences respectively.

But the national disciplinary committee of appeal (NDCA) turned down this request and insisted that the hearing continue.

NDCA head Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement late afternoon that Malema then submitted a request to introduce a new legal representative.

“The NDCA granted the request on the condition that the new representative be available within an hour,” Ramaphosa said.

Sikhakhane appeared for Malema and his fellow leaders, and it was agreed that he would submit written heads of argument by Wednesday.

The ANC will then submit their written reply by Friday, and the appeal committee will make a decision based on these submissions.

No oral hearing will take place, which means that the availability of legal representatives would not be an issue as it had been in the past.

“Once a decision is taken, a public announcement will be made in line with the directives of the ANC constitution,” Ramaphosa said.

Malema’s former lawyer, Mpofu, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Sikhakhane has acted for the ANC before, among others in the case brought by AfriForum against Malema’s singing of the song “shoot the boer”.

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