Malema refuses to give warning statement to Hawks in firearm discharge case

EFF leader Julius Malema. (Phill Magakoe, Gallo Images, file)
EFF leader Julius Malema. (Phill Magakoe, Gallo Images, file)

EFF leader Julius Malema has described charges against him, which the Hawks intend to institute, as a mockery of the system. 

He was speaking to the media after he refused to give a warning statement to the Hawks after he was summoned to the unit's headquarters in Pretoria on Tuesday.

READ | Legal team accompanies Malema to Hawks' offices for warning statement

Armed with three legal heavyweights, he told reporters the Hawks indicated that five charges would be instituted against him for allegedly discharging a firearm at a rally in the Eastern Cape. He was represented by advocates Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and Laurence Hodes and attorney Ian Levitt.

"They asked us to respond to those charges and we said we will not say anything. If they want to charge, they must charge and we will speak in court."

Malema added that after getting advice from his lawyers, he did not think there was anything to answer to, adding that the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation was "mischievous". 

He told journalists that charges against him were politically motivated, challenging the Hawks to make sound decisions when charging him.

"The Hawks have never had a problem meeting with us, either in our office or in the offices of the lawyers. We were shocked with this drama today but otherwise, we subject ourselves to the rule of law and respect the institution of the state."

Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said the charges would be finalised next week. 

Malema is also facing charges of aggravated assault in a separate matter after footage was released of him and party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi allegedly in an altercation with a police officer at the funeral of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Reacting to the charges, Malema said he would never apologise to a white man who refused him entry to the grave site of Madikizela-Mandela. 

"We will not even make an apology about that. I was provoked. If anything, the white man owes us an apology for refusing Winnie's children the right to bury her."

The EFF leader said the Hawks were making a joke of the justice system.

"They use it for diversion [from] real issues. There is AfriForum behind the whole thing and they are scared to put AfriForum [in] its place because it helps their political agenda to always bring us to the fore and divert us from the main issues in this country. Let's deal with these real issues and leave these nonsensical issues which are a waste of time for everyone."

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