Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema is expected back in the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday over calls he made to supporters to invade unoccupied land.
In 2016 Malema was charged twice for contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act over comments he made to supporters in Newcastle and Bloemfontein. He has since also been charged under common law for the same matter, which goes on trial in July. According to a legal expert, privy to the charges Malema could be facing grave penalty for such unguided utterances.
The EFF leader in 2014 told supporters that they should occupy unoccupied land because they needed the land in order to eat and work. The matter is now in court for an expected verdict.
“If there is unoccupied land, we will go and occupy the land… you must go and do the same,” said Malema to EFF supporters.
In June 2016, while at a rally marking the 61st anniversary of the Freedom Charter, Malema said whites could not claim ownership of land in South Africa because it belonged to the African majority.
He has also continued in that vein, even after being charged in November 2016. He is also challenging the constitutionality of the apartheid era law in the High Court.
“His matter is likely to be postponed to a latter part of the year,” said National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku.
The matter had to wait for Malema’s constitutional court challenge to be completed, Mfaku said.
The EFF has always maintained that the charges against Malema were a waste of time, and an attempt to keep the party distracted from honouring its political programme.