You dare not postpone this trial, Malema’s defence tells court

2015-08-04 12:17
EFF leader Julius Malema (News24)

EFF leader Julius Malema (News24)

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Julius Malema’s defence has come out strongly against the state for refusing a separation of trials. 

This morning the Economic Freedom Fighters leader’s lawyer, Mike Hellens, told the Polokwane High Court that the state’s refusal to go ahead with the separation of trial – after one of the accused fell ill and could not appear – was essentially a postponement which they “dare not do”. 

“My client has a family, a job and a role in society. He wants his day in court as a citizen. His job happens to be a member of Parliament but he is not asking for special treatment. No one is running away from this trial. Malema wants it.” 

Yesterday the court heard that one of the accused, Kagisho Dichabe, had been hospitalised and would not be fit for at least three weeks. 

State prosecutor Andrew Laka asked that the court issue a suspended warrant of arrest for Dichabe. 

But Hellens said in his argument that there were too many uncertainties in waiting for Dichabe to return. 

“A postponement presumes a recovery. On that presumption there is no certainty ... We don’t know if he will recover, when he will recover and how he will plead upon return. 

“There is no good basis for the state’s refusal of a separation of trial.” 

He added that Dichabe was only mentioned in seven of the 55 charges.

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