Malema's land grab case on hold again
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema will not appear in the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court to face charges over calls he had made for his supporters to invade unoccupied land.
Malema was due to make another appearance in court on Friday but instead he will be represented by his lawyers.
EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi confirmed on Friday that Malema will not physically be present in court but did not state why that was the case. “I don’t think he will be appearing in court‚” said Ndlozi.
The Newcastle court manager confirmed the matter was not proceeding on Friday and would be adjourned. She said no reason had been given as to why the case was not going ahead.
In June last year‚ Malema 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.
In 2014 he told the EFF ’s elective conference in Bloemfontein: “We’re going to occupy the unoccupied land because we need 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.”
An unrepentant Malema has vowed to challenge the constitutionality of the Riotous Assemblies Act under which he has been charged for allegedly inciting his supporters to invade land.
Last week Malema said there were no holy cows when it comes to the land question. He was responding to his critics after the EFF’s historic motion to amend the Constitution for the expropriation of land without compensation was passed in the National Assembly.
He has lashed out at Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini for defending the Ingonyama Trust‚ which administers 2.8-million hectares of land in KwaZulu-Natal on his behalf. “Let’s not talk war‚ let’s not beat war drums. Let’s come up with superior arguments on why it should not be done like that‚” said Malema.
He was responding to a warning by King Zwelithini that Zulus will never allow that their land be taken away from them and they will be prepared to die over this issue‚ and the king's call for Zulus to rise over land.
Malema has slammed the Zulu king for “intimidating” people calling for expropriation of land without compensation. “There are no holy cows in this country. We must debate issues openly‚ including disagreeing with the Zulu king. The Zulu king must call for engagement with regards to the land. He must be respected‚ he must not be feared. I don’t fear anyone‚ no one. I only fear God‚” said Malema.