AfriForum to seize EFF assets this week for R109K in court costs still unpaid

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema speaks at a press conference, 16 May 2019, in Braamfontein. Picture: Michel Bega

Julius Malema and his party have already had to cough up about R235K to the civil rights body.

Civil rights group AfriForum will institute legal proceedings to seize Economic Freedom Fighters assets if the party does not pay outstanding court orders on costs this week, AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel said on Sunday.

AfriForum placed the EFF and its leader Julius Malema on terms to pay a further R109,098.30 before this coming Friday for an outstanding court order on costs, he said in a statement.

Should the money not be paid by then, AfriForum would again start a process to seize the EFF’s assets. This money pertained to the order on costs which AfriForum obtained against the EFF and Malema on November 14, 2018, after the EFF and Malema’s attempt to obtain an urgent court order to prevent AfriForum from removing the EFF’s property and auctioning it off failed. This legal bill had since been taxed and therefore AfriForum could now enforce the payment thereof, he said.

The court order was one of five orders that AfriForum had obtained against Malema and the EFF to date. Of the five costs orders, Malema and the EFF had paid two, amounting to R235,000. With the payment of this enforceable third order, two more orders would be outstanding.

“The enforcement of last mentioned is being held back because one must still be taxed and the EFF appealed against another one. It is estimated that the total of the five orders as to costs amounts to about R550,000,” Kriel said.

The five court orders stemmed from a court battle beginning in March 2017, when AfriForum was granted an interdict which prohibited the EFF from inciting people to illegally occupy or trespass on land.

The High Court in Pretoria granted AfriForum’s interdict with costs. Malema and the EFF then brought an application to have the interdict set aside, which would have been heard on September 12, 2017. However, the court had to postpone the case after Malema and the EFF failed to submit their heads of argument in their own case in time. The judge subsequently granted a punitive costs order against Malema and the EFF.

When the case resumed on February 18, 2018, Malema and the EFF’s legal representatives failed to appear and the case was settled in AfriForum’s favour and a further costs order was issued against Malema and the EFF.

On November 14, 2018, the other two costs orders against Malema and the EFF were issued in AfriForum’s favour in two separate cases in the High Court in Pretoria. The first order applied to a case of contempt of court brought by AfriForum against Malema and the EFF after Malema and the EFF continued to encourage land grabs despite a standing interdict that AfriForum had obtained to prohibit them from inciting people to occupy land.

Malema and the EFF’s legal team again failed to submit their heads of argument in time, which meant that the case would have to be heard at a later date. With this, the EFF and Malema incurred yet another costs order against them.

In the second case, the EFF and Malema attempted to obtain an urgent court order to prevent AfriForum from removing and selling the EFF’s property at auction to recover legal costs. The court ruled that Malema and the EFF’s case was not urgent and issued a fifth costs order against Malema and the EFF.

AfriForum would use the money for legal proceedings to oppose attempts to amend the country’s Constitution to legalise expropriation of land without compensation.

“We will fight Malema and the EFF with their own money,” said Kriel.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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