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EFF duo's lawyer grills policeman over his conduct at Madikizela-Mandela funeral

WATCH | Exchange of words after tea break

EFF leader Julius Malema and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi at the Randburg magistrate's court on the second day of evidence being led in their trial on a charge of assault.
EFF leader Julius Malema and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi at the Randburg magistrate's court on the second day of evidence being led in their trial on a charge of assault.
Image: Nomahlubi Jordaan/TimesLIVE

Defence lawyer Laurence Hodes has told the complainant in EFF leader Julius Malema and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi's assault case that he would prove that he is lying to the court.

Malema and Ndlozi are standing trial at the Randburg magistrate's court.

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

Malema and Ndlozi have pleaded not guilty.

There was an exchange of words between Malema and Ndlozi and a man they accused of impeding their access. This happened after the tea break as Malema and Ndlozi were going back to the dock.

Venter on Wednesday told the court that he had stopped Malema's vehicle when they entered the cemetery because it did not have a permit.

During cross-examination on Thursday, Hodes asked Venter if he had asked Malema whether they had accreditation to enter the cemetery.

Venter said he did not ask them. He concluded that the vehicle had no accreditation because it was not visible to him. According to Venter, a permit is normally placed on the left front side of the vehicle at events.

Venter told the court that even if they had a permit, he would still have stopped the vehicle as it was not part of the convoy of cars that were allowed to enter the cemetery.

“You had no right to refuse them entry,” Hodes said.

“The vehicle was not part of the convoy,” Venter replied.

Hodes told Venter: “It was part of the convoy and it did have a permit. It was part of the convoy and you had made up your mind to stop it.”

Venter said he was not prepared to change his mind about his decision to stop Malema's vehicle.

“You are lying to this court and I am going to prove it to this court. You said 'I did not see a visible permit'. Why would you look for the permit if you would not have given them permission to enter anyway?” asked Hodes.

“That vehicle was not part of the convoy. That is why it parked at the additional VIP parking,” Venter responded.

“Other vehicles had permits and parked at the designated parking,” he added.

“I'm going to ask the court to draw an adverse inference against you. You are making up your evidence as you go, because your version has changed,” Hodes said.

Hodes asked for permission from the court to play video footage presented as part of the state's case.

In it, Malema and Ndlozi can be seen confronting Venter. Three law enforcement officials can be seen facing and holding Venter.

Hodes said the gesture the officers were making towards Venter showed that they were holding him back.

Venter denied this, saying the officers were merely supporting him.

Hodes pointed out to Venter that he had pushed back when Ndlozi and Malema pushed him.

“At no stage did I push back,” Venter said.

Hodes also showed Venter what he said was a permit on the dashboard of the vehicle Malema and Ndlozi were travelling in. Venter said he only saw a reflection of something he could not identify, but not a permit.

The trial continues.


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