EFF leader Julius Malema has said that AfriForum won its cases against his party based on technicalities, rather than merit.
In an interview on eNCA on Thursday night, Malema said: "The mistake we made as the EFF was to hire incompetent people who lack professionalism, who are not in a position to follow up matters before court in detail.
"We have restructured the legal team of the EFF."
Malema said the EFF’s lawyers are on retainer and get paid monthly but "fail to do simple things of following up which case is coming when".
Malema said previous counsel told the EFF that "just filing a notice to oppose was enough", but "the new lawyers are saying it's not enough, you ought to file a notice to oppose and then still file an affidavit".
Five cases lost
News24 reported on Thursday that the EFF had lost two battles in court with costs against AfriForum.
This brings to five the number of court cases the red berets have lost to AfriForum since March 2017.
On Wednesday, the EFF sought to interdict a warrant allowing the seizure of its movable assets from its Johannesburg office, but failed after the court found that the matter was not urgent.
That means the previous judgment to grant costs stands, and the EFF should pay back the costs AfriForum incurred.
The EFF paid just over R126 000 of the R333 000 which was meant to be paid on Tuesday, and now it has an escalated burden after Wednesday's two judgments.
[Watch]: CIC @Julius_S_Malema addressing the issue of Afriforum "winning" cases against the EFF. He clarifies that Afriforum won cases without merit but technicalities. Now that we have correct issues with our legal team, they can bring it on! pic.twitter.com/sXFQ7l1Gjm— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) November 15, 2018
On November 1, AfriForum obtained a warrant from the same court to seize movable assets belonging to EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema and for the EFF to pay an amount of R337 758.68 owed to AfriForum by Malema in his personal capacity and the EFF as a party.
An attachment process was carried out by the sheriff on November 9, during which a number of assets were identified as those to be removed to recoup the costs.
In another court appearance, the red berets and Malema were held in contempt of court for ignoring a court order interdicting the party from inciting illegal land invasions.
AfriForum's Kallie Kriel said: "EFF legal representatives did not pitch, and the court ordered against them with costs."
'Legal team incompetent'
Malema blamed an incompetent legal team for the losses.
"People call themselves lawyers, people call themselves black lawyers, and they want to be empowered in the name of black lawyers, even when they are offering me joke (sic)," Malema told eNCA.
"That has been dealt with. We have sorted out our legal team.
"Look at the cost of the AfriForum [case], the first interdict on the occupation of land was unopposed. Why would the EFF not oppose a matter like that? It is because of mediocre and unprofessionalism from the legal team of the EFF."
Malema said the EFF applied to rescind the earlier judgment, but, because the party did not file an affidavit after filing leave to appeal, "AfriForum set the matter up to be heard by the court without us [so] we [got] dismissed with costs".
'Bring it on'
"So [AfriForum has] not won on the merits, they’ve won on technicalities of the EFF not being present. Now, we have corrected that," Malema said.
"Bring it on, papa, let’s go into the merits, we are not scared of these boers. They were winning in our absence," Malema warned.
#AfriForum says it will however meet with #EFF legal team, should it wish to do so, to talk about the possibility of of not removing attached items, so long the Red Berets commits to paying back the money. @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/xzDUoX09Bl— Pelane Phakgadi (@PelaneM) November 14, 2018