NPA to charge EFF leader Julius Malema over land grab call

13 October 2016 - 16:06
By Tmg Digital
Economic Freedom Fighters, Commander in Chief Julius Malema.
Image: None None Economic Freedom Fighters, Commander in Chief Julius Malema.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has been served with a summons to stand trial for urging his supporters to invade land.

The charges are under the Riotous Assemblies Act‚ with two instances - the first dating back to when he was elected EFF president.

Malema told the EFF’s elective conference in Bloemfontein in 2014 that: "We are going to occupy the unoccupied land because we need the 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.".

At the time‚ AfriForum laid criminal charges against Malema.

This is the video used as the basis of the first charge against Malema:

The second case is from June 2016‚ when Malema told supporters in Newcastle that white people can't claim ownership of land because it belongs to the country's black African majority.

In May the Sunday Times reported that the Minister of State Security David Mahlobo had now taken charge of government efforts to have Malema arrested for making "violent threats" against the state.

Deputy president Floyd Shivhambu told a news conference after the summons for two cases were served on Malema that the charges were a "reflection of a desperate state and a manipulated captured state that is utilising its state institutions to persecute the leader of the Freedom Fighters for something that happened a long time ago."

Apartheid-era law

The Riotous Assemblies Act was passed in 1956 to prohibited gatherings in open-air public places if the Minister of Justice considered they could endanger the public peace.

The law came into being after delegates had gathered the previous year at a Congress of the People to discuss the Freedom charter‚ at Kliptown‚ Soweto.

The notorious law was also used as the title of a satirical book in 1971 - 'Riotous Assembly'‚ by Tom Sharpe‚ which mocked apartheid and the police who enforced it.

Malema is due to appear in Bloemfontein and Newcastle courts on November 14 and 7 respectively.