Malema’s trial date for ‘stadium firearm discharge’ allegation set for August

29 March 2021 - 14:11
By Asanda Nini
EFF leader Julius Malema in the East London magistrate's court on Monday.
Image: MARK ANDREWS EFF leader Julius Malema in the East London magistrate's court on Monday.

Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, will face trial in an East London court between August 23 and 27.

Together with his co-accused Gerhardus Adriaan Snyman, on Monday he made a brief appearance before regional court magistrate Twanet Olivier, with proceedings lasting less than 15 minutes, before the trial date was determined and confirmed by the court.

In the week-long trial in August, Malema will face charges for allegedly firing an automatic rifle during the EFF’s fifth birthday celebrations at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane in 2018.

He has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, discharging a firearm in a built-up area or public place, and reckless endangerment to people or property.

Snyman, who the state claims handed Malema the alleged firearm, faces two charges of failing to take reasonable precautions to avoid danger to person or property and providing a firearm or ammunition to any person not allowed to possess it.

The charges were filed after a video clip showing Malema firing what appeared to be an automatic rifle in front of the crowd that attended the EFF rally made the rounds on social media.

Malema, who refused to speak to the media after his appearance, was accompanied in court by security personnel and a large group of provincial and national EFF leaders.

The party will comment on the court case at a media briefing in Gauteng on Tuesday, party spokesperson Vuyani Pambo, who also refused to comment, told the media outside the East London court. The briefing comes after the party’s national plenum.