Malema vows to rip case apart and send magistrate, prosecutor ‘into retirement’

03 February 2023 - 09:56 By Asanda Nini
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EFF leader Julius Malema, accused of discharging a firearm in public, says the charges against him are “frivolous, petty and nonsensical”.

Malema said on Thursday the state did not have a watertight case against him and after it had presented its case he would, through his legal team, apply for the charges against him to be withdrawn.

He warned that should the state not drop the charges and require him to take the stand in his defence, he would rip its case apart and “send” prosecutor Joel Cesar and magistrate Twanet Olivier “into retirement”.

Speaking to hundreds of supporters outside the East London magistrate’s court, Malema said he was never “intimidated” by any magistrate or judge and even if found guilty and sent to jail he would go with a “clear conscious as I never violated any law”.

Malema was speaking after appearing in court with his bodyguard Adriaan Snyman, on charges related to allegedly discharging a firearm in public during the party’s fifth anniversary celebrations at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane in 2018.

Malema had applied for Olivier to recuse herself from the trial.

EFF spokesperson Sinawo Tambo alleged this was because the magistrate “exhibited a palpable bias” against Malema by “leading a witness who has already made certain testimony to make certain observations and conclusions which were contrary to the conclusions he had made first in his testimony”.

The recusal application was denied by Olivier on Thursday.

Malema told the crowd he believed the charges against him, brought by lobby group AfriForum, were an attempt to intimidate him.

“We made the application for the [magistrate] to recuse herself because we felt she was descending into the arena and playing judge and prosecutor.

“We wanted to tell her that whether she was racist or not she must not play into the arena but stick to the law.

“No matter how agitated ... We wanted her to know that a [magistrate] who fights battles on behalf of the prosecution team will find us ready, as we do not care about her feelings ... we do not worship [magistrates],” Malema said.

He blamed the ANC and AfriForum for his court woes.

“This is a blatant attempt to intimidate me, but I will never die on my knees, but with my boots on. I will never surrender to criminals or cowards,” he said.

Malema described his weeklong court appearance in East London as a “mobilisation meeting” for his supporters before the EFF’s planned March 20 “shutdown of the entire South Africa”.

He said structural challenges the East London court faced, such as dilapidated infrastructure, was reason for those working at the court, including magistrates and judges, to join the shutdown.

“This court is rotten, with roofs falling and toilets not in good working condition. Even the department of justice here is rotten to the core. This court is like a chicken run ... Things are falling apart.”

Some demonstrators outside court claimed Malema would not get a fair trial.


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