WATCH | Floyd Shivambu says Julius Malema is a victim of a political agenda by 'racist' AfriForum
“Hands off the commander-in-chief hands off! Viva EFF, viva! There's a political attempt by a racist organisation called AfriForum to want to get our CIC and president Julius Malema convicted for nothing.”
This is what EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu had to say on Wednesday to party supporters outside the Randburg magistrate's court, where Julius Malema and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi stood trial on charges of common assault.
[WATCH]: Deputy President @FloydShivambu there is a political attempt by a racist organisation called AfriForum to want to get our Commander-in-Chief and President @Julius_S_Malema convicted for nothing. #HandsOffCIC pic.twitter.com/BGaoRjv0fe— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) October 28, 2020
Ndlozi and Malema are accused of assaulting police officer Lt-Col Johannes Jacobus Venter in 2018 at the funeral of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Venter told the court that Malema and Ndlozi pushed him so hard and that he lost balance after he denied them entry into the cemetery.
Venter said he was told to only allow entry to immediate family for the burial and that the rest of the mourners would remain at the stadium where the funeral would be streamed via satellite TV. He said Malema and Ndlozi were not part of the convoy that was allowed entry and that the vehicle they were in did not have a permit.
Laurence Hodes, a lawyer for Malema and Ndlozi, said the vehicle was accredited to enter the cemetery. He poked holes in Venter's testimony and asked why he had told the court that Malema and Ndlozi had accreditation tags around their necks when his statement had omitted this information.
Venter said he was in shock, but Hodes argued that this was not true as the footage from the incident shows him smiling. He told Hodes that he smiles when he is in shock.
AfriForum had pushed for Malema and Ndlozi to be prosecuted.
Shivambu told the party's “ground forces” that Venter had no case against the EFF leaders and that he kept contradicting himself in court.
“They don't have a clear case of what they stand for, they have now brought apartheid police officer called Venter ... He is now there, contradicting himself. The lawyers of the commander-in-chief have now demonstrated to the court that what the guy wrote in the statement and what he is saying today are different things,” he said as the crowd cheered.
EFF secretary-general Marshall Dlamini told the crowd that the “ground forces” will attend the court cases “until we defeat racism”.
The trial continues on Thursday.