Julius Malema, leader of Economic Freedom Fighters will appear in the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court today on charges of contravening the Riotous Assemblies for allegedly urging his supporters to invade land.
The charges relate to two different incidents — the first dating back to when he was elected EFF president.
Malema told the EFF’s elective conference in Bloemfontein in 2014 that: “We are going to occupy the unoccupied land because we need the land. For us to eat‚ we must have the land. For us to work‚ we must have the land… I come from Seshego. If there is unoccupied land‚ we will go and occupy the land with my branch. You must go and do the same in the branch where you come from.”
As of that time‚ AfriForum laid criminal charges against Malema.
The second case is from June 2016‚ when he told supporters in the northern KwaZulu-Natal town of Newcastle that white people can’t claim ownership of land because it belongs to the country’s black African majority.
Malema’s party said on Sunday the Riotous Assemblies Act‚ which was essentially an apartheid law that was not transformed by the ANC government‚ was historically used in the 1960s to put many liberation fighters behind bars‚ including the famous Rivonia trialists.
“Twenty-two years after democracy‚ the ANC government says the CIC [commander-in-chief] Julius Malema has contravened this Act by saying to our people‚ on the occasion of the 61st Anniversary of the Freedom Charter‚ they have the right to occupy land wherever they choose. This is a direct quotation from the Freedom Charter which state that ‘all shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose’. In essence the CIC Julius Malema is charged for speaking about the Freedom Charter‚” the EFF said.