The assault trial of EFF leader Julius Malema and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi begins Wednesday morning after the media were granted access to record video and take photographs in court.

Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi say the charge of common assault they are facing is part of a political agenda.

The duo are standing trial at the Randburg magistrate’s court, where they each face a charge of common assault.

They are accused of assaulting policeman Johannes Jacobus Venter in 2018 at the funeral of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Fourways.

AfriForum had pushed for their prosecution.

There was a large police contingent and a number of EFF marshals controlling traffic outside the court. On Wednesday Malema and Ndlozi pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Their lawyer, advocate Laurence Hodes, said Malema and Ndlozi believed they were entitled to enter the cemetery for Madikizela-Mandela’s burial and that their obstruction was illegal.

Hodes said “They believe there is a political agenda. They have tried to reach out to the complainant as a token of ubuntu but it was rejected”.

The trial continues, with Venter taking the witness box.