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Police to challenge Malema's acquittal

Sapa

Traffic cops say they will challenge the EFF leader's acquittal on a reckless driving charge because they had not submitted the relevant evidence.

EFF leader Julius Malema. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema's acquittal on a reckless driving charge will be challenged, Gauteng traffic police said on Friday.

Spokesperson Obed Sibasa said in a statement that the traffic authority had submitted the relevant evidence to the state.

"The matter was set down for plea today [Friday]."

Sibasa said the traffic officer who testified in Malema's case on Friday was not subpoenaed and was at the Vanderbijilpark Magistrate's Court for another matter.

According to Sibasa, during Malema's previous court appearance on January 29, Malema's legal team requested time to study the case docket and advise their client on a  possible plea.

"Following the confusion the senior prosecutor instructed her colleague not to proceed with the trial and to focus on the plea but the ill-prepared prosecutor defied her and proceeded with the trial," he claimed.

The EFF leader was accused of driving at 215km/h in a 120km/h zone, and Sibasa insisted the Gauteng traffic police had a "watertight case" against him.

"Our legal team is busy studying the outcome of the case, hoping the matter will back in court soon."

Earlier, Malema's lawyer Tumi Mokoena questioned the accuracy of the device used to record Malema's speed. Traffic officer David Phumudi told the court the device was working properly and that it was regularly tested. 

Malema said he was driving at 120km/h when he passed a car driving at approximately 80km/h. The car followed him and he increased his speed.

"The car was suspicious. It was not marked. I only stopped when I heard the siren," he told reporters outside the court. 

The court ruled that the state could not prove the device used to record Malema's speed was in good working order. – Sapa

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