Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema appeared on Friday morning at the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court over charges that he violated the Riotous Assemblies Act for telling his supporters to occupy vacant land.
Speaking to his followers after the case’s postponement, Malema said “South Africa must be warned, something wrong is happening with the judiciary. The judiciary is about to be captured.”]
The EFF leader then accused Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan of meeting with a judge prior to his appearance at the Nugent commission, which probed alleged misconduct and mismanagement at the South African Revenue Service (Sars) – a meeting he says was not disclosed by the judge until “it was revealed”.
“Had it not been reported, to this day we would have never known that politicians are meeting judges,” Malema continued, before once again saying that South Africans should be “warned”.
Malema also said that the “judges in South Africa must know that respect does not come from a lucky packet, respect is earned”.
“The judiciary must work with facts, not with emotions. Even if a person can shoot a person in a packed FNB stadium with thousands of witnesses, the case must still be heard in court. Such a person can be found not guilty if, for instance, they are mentally ill. It’s about facts!” the EFF leader continued.
The charges Malema faces stem from an EFF conference in Bloemfontein in 2014, at which Malema was accused of “inciting” his followers to occupy land across the country, which led to the National Prosecuting Authority charging him under the apartheid-era Riotous Assemblies Act.
Malema is in the process of attempting to have the act itself declared constitutionally invalid.
The case was postponed on Friday morning until November 8, as Malema’s legal bid to have the law scrapped is still ongoing at the High Court in Pretoria.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)