Ndlozi tells court cop accusing him of assault was strong, unreasonable and 'violated' his rights

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Julius Malema and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi at Randburg Magistrate's Court.
Julius Malema and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi at Randburg Magistrate's Court.
Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle
  • EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and party leader Julius Malema are on trial for allegedly assaulting Lieutenant Colonel Johannes Venter at the funeral of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
  • Ndlozi described Venter as a mountainous man who was unreasonable.
  • The matter was postponed to 29 September for judgment. 

He was an unreasonable mountainous man, who was physically strong and would not have answered questions from anyone.

This was the description that EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi gave for Lieutenant Colonel Johannes Venter when he testified in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Friday.

He and EFF leader Julius Malema have been criminally charged for allegedly assaulting Venter at Madikizela-Mandela's funeral on 14 April 2018.

Testifying about that day, Ndlozi said Venter refused to allow EFF members to access the cemetery for Madikizela-Mandela's burial and that they were "fundamentally" violated of their dignity and right to mourn and bury her.

READ | Malema testifies in assault trial

"I felt fundamentally violated, denied - not just our freedom to movement, [but our] freedom to access the memorial park and dignity to mourn someone we had a relationship with. Despite that relationship, we were told on countless moments that we could not enter," he said.

During cross-examination, prosecutor Michele Hart replayed video footage of the incident. Ndlozi testified that Venter used his body to block their V-Class Mercedes Benz.

He grabbed Venter's hands with the intention of removing him and pulling him away, the court heard.

Ndlozi said:

The effect of me grabbing his hand was such that he pushed me, so I had to let go.

Hart questioned why Ndlozi and Malema didn't try to speak to Venter.

But Ndlozi responded that Venter kept "coming back and used his body to apply force" in front of the vehicle.

"You are smiling. Are you happy that you pushed him?" Hart asked.

Ndlozi replied: "Yes," adding that they had to stand up for their right to mourn.  

READ | State forced to close case in Malema, Ndlozi assault trial as witness fails to show

Hart continued that the incident could have been avoided if they consulted Venter's superiors at the cemetery instead.

But Ndlozi said Venter was a tall, mountainous man who showed no signs of listening or engaging with them in a reasonable manner at the time.

"I expected him to be a reasonable man, but he was not engageable. He reacted physically and did not appear to be someone who would listen to his superior. My attention was on him. He was the violator," he said.

Hart probed further, asking whether it occurred to Ndlozi that Venter was humiliated because he was assaulted on national television.

"How was he humiliated? You are very wrong. He was not humiliated. This video did not happen in front of an international audience. You are factually wrong. He had the duty to guide and protect mourners' rights, but he ignored all of that and interfered with the law, thus violating it, and then went on to lay the charge.

"The only time the world was aware of the video footage was when it was made public by the media. We were the ones who were humiliated. Venter was the one in the wrong," he said.

The case was postponed to 29 September for judgment.

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