A video showing Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and the party’s national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi involved in a scuffle at the funeral of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela last year has surfaced.
The video does not show instances before the scuffle, but it does seem the Special Task Force officer was getting Malema out of the way as one of the funeral cars approached the gate.
Malema does not take kindly to the officer’s behaviour, so he pushes him out of his was as Ndlozi joins in. Police officers try to intervene and separate the three, as Ndlozi and Malema appear to be shouting at those who are trying to calm the situation down.
It had previously been reported that the incident was caught on CCTV, and the officer subsequently opened a case against the two.
Watch the video below shared on social media by DA councillor and YouTuber @RenaldoGouws. It’s understood the video was first made available by AfriForum:
Malema and Ndlozi assaulting a Police Officer at Winnie Mandela's Funeral. Clear evidence of an assault. Now let's see how South African Twitter responds. pic.twitter.com/kbcroF32O2
— Renaldo "Ngamla" Gouws ???????? (@RenaldoGouws) November 20, 2019
The two EFF leaders appeared at the Randburg Magistrates’ Court today on charges of common assault in relation to the same case.
Speaking outside court, Malema denied laying hands on the officer, saying that, had he done so, the situation would have turned out worse.
“If I had laid a hand on him, I would have panelbeated him. It would have been worse than what you saw. I don’t play when I lay hands.”
He further said the case was a waste of the court’s time.
“… well it is a waste of time. That’s why the magistrate ruled against the media’s application [to film the proceedings] because it is a useless case. I don’t know what you are all doing here. It’s a waste of the court’s time and we will deal with it.
“We are here because we had a scuffle with a white man. If it was [a] black man they could have said the two of you go for mediation and find each other. But, you don’t touch a white person as a black person. If I had laid a hand on him, I would have panelbeated him. It would have been worse than what you saw. I don’t play when I lay hands.
“I didn’t do that. Mbuyiseni didn’t do that. All we were fighting for is to enter the cemetery and go and bury our mother. We had all the right to be there and he was not going to stop us.
“If we are going to prison for having fought to bury Winnie Mandela, so be it. Let it be. We are being arrested for fighting to bury a revolutionary. I think it was a genuine cause.”
A trial date has been set for the assault case brought against them and the trial will continue on March 10 2020.
NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed Malema and Ndlozi would be appearing in court after lobby group AfriForum issued a circular on Tuesday inviting the media to the proceeding.
The NPA’s decision to prosecute came after sustained pressure from AfriForum, which announced in July it would approach the court with a mandamus application that would compel it to make a decision regarding the prosecution of Malema and Ndlozi.
In September, the NPA communicated with the lobby group that it would prosecute them.
“Although we welcome the NPA’s decision to prosecute, it is regrettable that AfriForum had to put so much pressure on it simply to fulfil its constitutional duty. We will carefully monitor the case to ensure that the complainants get justice,” the lobby group’s head of private prosecutions unit, advocate Gerrie Nel, said at the time.
Asked if there were any other charges added besides assault, Mjonondwane said those details would only become available after the two appeared in court.
Additional reporting by News24 Wire