An unrepentant Julius Malema has accused both the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of grandstanding and acting like proxies for AfriForum and the ANC.
The EFF leader made a mockery of the Hawks on Tuesday as he accepted an invitation by the crime investigation unit only to refuse once he was at their Pretoria head office.
The invitation was to assist them in drafting a warning statement following allegations that Malema had discharged a firearm during an EFF rally in the Eastern Cape last year.
The showboating EFF leader addressed the media after an hour-long meeting with members of the Hawks, and said he had refused to cooperate.
He went on to warn the Hawks that “should they wish to institute charges they should go ahead”.
“We will meet in court,” said a buoyant Malema.
He said the Hawks had informed him that five charges would be instituted against him for the alleged incident.
But he questioned the motivation behind being summoned to the office and the impetus behind the charges being instituted in the first place.
“In previous cases, the Hawks have been willing to meet me in our Braamfontein offices or at my lawyer’s offices, now they are making a show of the entire matter. They had to call me here [the Hawks head office in Pretoria] just for show.”
“They are pleasing the real people behind these charges – AfriForum. This was also the case last week; the NPA made a show about how they were charging me and EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi only for them to give us a call today and say the file in its current state was not ready to take to court,” said Malema.
The charges against Malema were instituted by lobby group AfriForum on July 30 last year following the EFF’s fifth anniversary celebrations on Saturday July 28 in Mdantsane near East London.
He went on to acknowledge that the incident in question – where they said he and Ndlozi had assaulted a white policeman who was trying to deny them access during struggle icon Winne Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral – had taken place.
“A white Afrikaner man refused for me to enter the graveside. They are charging me for common assault. But there was no one that was going to stop me from burying Mama Winnie. I wish I had really assaulted him and given him a serious case to report. That white man ought to be grateful that we did not go to extremes,” said a visibly infuriated Malema.
He also accused the ANC of attempting “at all costs” to prevent him from speaking at Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral.
“They tried to block me from speaking at Mama Winnie’s funeral. They failed and they deployed white police officers to stop me from entering the graveyard; even there they failed. They also tried to influence the family to not allow me to talk. Fikile Mbalula tried [to prevent me] and other ANC officials [also tried to prevent me] yet the family allowed me to talk,” said Malema.
He said the policeman in question had “provoked us on an emotional day” which had led to the altercation.
The EFF leader rubbished all the cases against him as attempts by politicians and the media to smear the party’s name.