Rights group AfriForum will ask the High Court in Pretoria today to jail Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema for six months and fine the EFF R500,000 for ignoring a court order interdicting it from inciting illegal land invasions.
AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel said it intended to go ahead with its application for contempt of court as it had obtained a final interdict against Malema and the EFF to stop it from encouraging people to invade land illegally, which order was simply ignored.
However, this was unlikely to happen said attorney Tracey Lomax, who couldn’t recall the last time someone had been jailed for contempt, other than in maintenance cases.
“Generally, with a contempt order, we’re loath to deprive people of their right to freedom unnecessarily,” Lomax said. “It was more likely a fine would be imposed, with imprisonment as an alternative.
“Obviously, Malema will have an opportunity to explain his actions and if the court does find him in contempt, it will probably issue a fine.”
The EFF was unavailable for comment.
Kriel said the EFF indicated that it would challenge the other two costs orders against it and would oppose the contempt application.
He said the EFF was once again late in filing opposing papers in the contempt application and would probably be forced to ask for a postponement again and offer to pay the costs.
“They’re trying to prevent a public auction of their assets. We are not concerned about their applications because we are confident that we have a strong case,” said Kriel.
“We’ve already received an instalment, which we will use to fight the EFF because they’re continuing with land invasions.
“In effect, we will fight them with their own money.”
But Malema yesterday denied paying AfriForum R126 703.59, as had been announced by Kriel.
Kriel took to Twitter yesterday morning to announce the party obeyed court orders and paid that amount into its account. He also posted a picture of the proof of payment.
He said: “This amount was due after a judge gave a punitive cost order against Malema and the EFF in favour of AfriForum on September 12, 2017.”
The cost orders come from AfriForum’s lawsuit against EFF and its leader to obtain an interdict to prevent them from inciting people to enter land illegally.
However, the EFF leader said he never paid AfriForum as he could not “afford” it.
The proof of payment shows the amount to have been paid by Kwinana and Partner, which is a law firm, while the reference of the payment includes “EFF”.
While the EFF and AfriForum butt heads over land, the Institute of Race Relations’ Frans Cronje said his organisation was busy briefing lawyers and preparing to take the “procedurally flawed work” of the constitutional review committee on judicial review.
“The committee is likely to recommend that the constitution be amended to allow expropriation with compensation – nationalisation by another name,” Cronje said.
“More than 720,000 written submissions were sent to the committee, about 80% of which were opposed to it. The committee has failed to consider these comments and is likely to make its recommendation without ever having looked at 99.9% of them.
“However, the committee has a constitutional obligation to hear and heed what South Africans have said on the EWC issue. The IRR is determined to ensure that it fulfils this obligation. The hundreds of thousands of submissions which people took the trouble to send in must be fully taken into account, not effectively relegated to the rubbish bin.”