Cop's testimony had discrepancies, says magistrate as Malema, Ndlozi acquitted for assault

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Floyd Shivambu and Julius Malema outside Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
Floyd Shivambu and Julius Malema outside Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
Gallo Images/Papi Morake
  • EFF leader Julius Malema and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi have been acquitted on a charge of assault. 
  • The two appeared in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday. 
  • The court found that at first glance their actions were unlawful but that they did not intend to assault the police officer. 

The Randburg Magistrate's Court has found that EFF leader Julius Malema and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi lacked intent to assault Lieutenant-Colonel Johannes Venter during Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burial in April 2018.

Magistrate Leiland Poonsamy ruled on Thursday afternoon that the two were not guilty.

He said: "I find that the action of the accused at first glance appears to be unlawful, but after carefully assessing the evidence, one can never assault any human being to gain entry. The evidence in its totality also confirms the version of the accused before court. The accused further lack intent to commit the office of assault.

"The court finds that the version of the accused is reasonably possibly true. The accused did not intend to assault the complainant based on the evidence."

Poonsamy had also considered the accused's state of mind at the time.

READ | Billy Downer wants Zuma to put up R1m security if he wants private prosecution

He said they were mourners on that day and did not anticipate they would be stopped by the officer. He said the accused believed they were entitled to be at the cemetery.

Poonsamy said the State had failed to prove that Malema and Ndlozi were not part of the convoy.

The magistrate added that during the trial, Malema and Ndlozi did not "create different versions before the court. Their versions were similar in nature".

He said Malema and Ndlozi gave the court a detailed explanation of what had happened that day.

RANDBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 29: Economic Fr
EFF supporters outside the Randburg Magistrate's Court as Julius Malema and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi appeared on Thursday.

Turning to Venter's evidence, the magistrate took issue with some discrepancies in his statements.

He said Venter made four statements containing contradictions, adding his evidence was "not impressive when he tried to explain the discrepancies".

News24 previously reported that during the trial, the police officer, who is attached to the Presidential Protection Services, told the court that Malema had refused to walk into the cemetery after he had stopped his vehicle at the cemetery's entrance.

He testified that Malema's vehicle did not have a permit to enter the cemetery.

Venter said Malema and Ndlozi pushed and shoved him until he lost his balance.

The officer also told the court Malema's vehicle was not part of the main convoy that had arrived earlier, and it did not have a visible permit.

The convoy included vehicles transporting the Mandela family, the president, former and current heads of state as well as ministers.



We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
A Section 89 panel headed by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo found President Cyril Ramaphosa has an impeachable case to answer on the Phala Phala scandal.
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Ramaphosa should do the honourable thing and immediately resign.
22% - 2399 votes
Ramaphosa should follow due process and submit himself to an impeachment hearing.
30% - 3244 votes
Ramaphosa should fight the findings in court and keep his job at all costs
48% - 5220 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.16
+1.0%
Rand - Pound
20.95
+0.4%
Rand - Euro
18.03
+0.7%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.54
+0.5%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.6%
Gold
1,787.50
+0.9%
Silver
22.73
+2.4%
Palladium
1,854.00
+0.2%
Platinum
1,007.50
+1.7%
Brent Crude
79.35
-4.2%
Top 40
67,863
-0.8%
All Share
74,011
-0.7%
Resource 10
73,204
-1.1%
Industrial 25
90,783
-0.7%
Financial 15
15,619
-0.8%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE