Malema spends 41st birthday in East London court facing firearms charge

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EFF leader Julius Malema and Adriaan Snyman appear at the East London Magistrate Court in East London.
EFF leader Julius Malema and Adriaan Snyman appear at the East London Magistrate Court in East London.
Lulama Zenzile
  • Julius Malema is celebrating his 41st birthday on Thursday, while attending his trial for the unlawful possession of a firearm and contravening the Firearms Control Act.
  • Malema was born on 3 March 1981 in Seshego, in the former Transvaal province. 
  • Ironically, he is alleged to have committed the crimes during a birthday party celebration of the EFF in July 2018.

EFF leader Julius Malema will spend much of his 41st birthday in the East London Regional Court as his legal team fights several criminal charges he face relating to the Firearms Control Act.

Malema finds himself on the wrong side of the law after allegedly firing a semi-automatic rifle in front of a crowd attending the EFF's fifth birthday celebrations at Sisa Dukashe Stadium on 28 July 2018.

The EFF founder was born on 3 March 1981 in Seshego, in the former Transvaal province.

Malema faces charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and three counts of contravening the Firearms Control Act.

READ | 'It was not a real gun' - Malema's lawyers attempt to punch holes in State's case

His bodyguard Adriaan Snyman faces one count of contravening the Firearms Control Act and failure to take reasonable precautions to avoid danger to a person's property.

Snyman is accused of handing the weapon to Malema.

Malema and Snyman both pleaded not guilty.

ALSO READ | Julius Malema and co-accused Snyman plead not guilty to charges of discharging a firearm

Attempting to punch holes in State's case, Malema's legal team on Wednesday alleged that the rifle the EFF leader seemingly fired in front of a cheering crowd in Mdantsane four years ago was not a real gun, and that an empty shell picked up after the event and handed to the police, could have been placed there months before the event in question.

Malema and his top generals, including deputy president Floyd Shivambu, secretary-general Marshall Dlamini and their bodyguards are all staying in East London for the week to attend the trial.

Malema's Twitter page was flooded with birthday messages as supporters wished their president a happy.


Shivambu took to Facebook to wish Malema. 

"Happy Birthday Comrade President @Julius_S_Malema! May God bless and protect you to see many more productive and revolutionary years! Your decisive, courageous and visionary leadership will liberate black people in South Africa, Africa & entire African diaspora! Stay blessed!," he posted.

The trial was briefly delayed on Thursday as security guards conducted body checks on court attendees.  

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