Julius Malema defiant in face of court action loss

EFF's application to challenge the constitutionality of the Riotous Assemblies Act was dismissed by the high court in Pretoria yesterday. /ALON SKUY

EFF leader Julius Malema has remained defiant despite his application to challenge the constitutionality of the Riotous Assemblies Act being dismissed.

Malema was charged with violating the Act on at least two occasions – in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, and in Bloemfontein, Free State – when he urged supporters to invade vacant land.

Malema argues that the Riotous Assemblies Act was passed under the apartheid regime to oppress black people and that it should never be tolerated under a new democratic dispensation.

But the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria yesterday found that Malema’s utterances were partly unconstitutional as they incited criminality.

“The court disagrees with us and partially agrees with us that section 18 (b) is unconstitutional and referred the matter to the Constitutional Court. Therefore, we’ll also appeal directly to the Constitutional Court because we still believe that the Riotous Assemblies Act is unconstitutional,” said Malema shortly after the judgment was handed down.

Malema faces charges of incitement in relation to four incidents, including allegedly telling supporters in 2014 in the Free State to “be part of the occupation of land everywhere else in SA”, and in 2016 in KwaZulu-Natal, where he allegedly said: “If you see a piece of land, don’t apologise, and [if] you like it, go and occupy that land. That land belongs to us.”

Yesterday, Malema said: “With regard to the Trespassing Act, we will – like the court said – it’s a point to be argued in the lower courts if the charges against us continue. So, we are appealing directly to the Constitutional Court because by referring section 18. 2 (b) for confirmation, we have one leg inside the Constitutional Court. We just have to ask the court to bring both legs in and argue that matter directly.”

Malema filed an application in the high court in December, challenging the constitutionality of the laws used to charge him.

Source – SowetanLIVE

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