Malema ‘land grab’ case postponed due to his challenge of apartheid law

EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Alaister Russell/Sowetan/Gallo Images
EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Alaister Russell/Sowetan/Gallo Images

The case against Julius Malema for allegedly calling on Economic Freedom Fighters supporters to invade unoccupied land has been postponed until next year.

The EFF is seeking to challenge the constitutionality of the law that Malema is being charged over, and thus Malema’s case in the Newcastle Magistrates’ Court has been postponed on numerous occasions. On Monday the case against Malema was postponed to February 25.

Prosecutor Jabulani Mlotshwa told the court that progress had been hamstrung by Malema’s challenge of the apartheid-era legislation.

The Sowetan quoted him as saying that Malema’s challenge was meant to be heard by the High Court but the matter was postponed until September.

“Both matters are now set down for a special motion and it was ruled that the applicants were to file their heads of argument by June 8. The state attorney informs me that their papers have been filed,” he said, according to the Sowetan.

“Because of this and because the judgment may take time‚ we request that the matter be postponed to February 25 next year. Hopefully that will make things clearer.”

Last year, City Press reported that prosecutors asked that the case be heard in October, pending Malema’s legal challenge over the constitutionality of the 1956 Riotous Assemblies Act.

After court adjourned, Malema again called for his supporters to occupy land, as a white magistrate “could never understand” the pain of the land issue.

“Nothing is more painful than having to explain the land struggle to a white magistrate. No white people will ever understand that,” the party quoted Malema as saying after the postponement.

“Please go on and occupy the land. This land struggle has led to many blacks having a place they call a home.”

In 2016, Malema was charged twice for contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act over comments he made to supporters in Newcastle and Bloemfontein.

He has since also been charged under common law for the same matter.

In 2014 he told the EFF’s elective conference in Bloemfontein: “We’re going to occupy the unoccupied land because we need land. For us to eat‚ we must have the land. For us to work‚ we must have the land. I come from Seshego – if there is unoccupied land‚ we will go and occupy the land with my branch. You must go and do the same in the branch where you come from.”

– Additional reporting by News24


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