EFF denies AfriForum asset forfeiture claims

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party says it has not been formally notified by a court sheriff that its assets — and those of its leader Julius Malema — will be attached to pay a R337 000 debt to AfriForum.

This follows a statement by AfriForum on Sunday, in which it said it had obtained a warrant from the Pretoria high court to seize the moveable assets of Malema and his party.

This relates to three costs orders that AfriForum said were granted in its favour, related to its land grab case against the party and its commander-in-chief.

In March 2017, Malema was interdicted from inciting illegal land grabs, following an application brought by AfriForum and AfriBusiness. This followed statements by Malema calling on landless people to occupy land across the country.

AfriForum said it had obtained a “warrant” from the Pretoria high court on November 1, to seize the moveable assets of Malema and the EFF.

Punitive costs order

Malema and the EFF apparently owe AfriForum a total of R337 758.68.

It’s understood that the EFF applied for the interdict to be set aside, but the court date — set down for September 12 2017 — was postponed when the EFF filed their papers late.

The party said this was due to confusion about the court date. A punitive costs order was then granted against Malema and the EFF.

Another costs order was granted in March 2018, when AfriForum says the EFF did not show up for a scheduled court appearance.

AfriForum now wants to take Malema to court again on contempt of court charges. The organisation says its application is scheduled to go ahead on November 14.

Lengthy legal process EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee said on Tuesday that the party’s attorneys of record had not received notice from the sheriff of the court. He said any costs order must also be taxed and the EFF and Malema had yet to be invited to taxation proceedings.

As such, Gardee said there was no attachment underway, and the party and Malema had not been invited to respond to any attachment applications. He said AfriForum was “trying to stay relevant” by saying it will now attach Malema and the EFF’s assets.

Gardee also said the party and Malema had appealed every costs order against them, so the number of costs orders was “neither here nor there”.

He said that the contempt of court matter was being opposed, which meant a lengthy process would now ensue, involving the filing of affidavits and responding papers. The matter is unlikely to be heard for some time.

By the time it is heard, he said Parliament’s constitutional review committee on land reform would already have completed its proceedings, and “the matter will be moot”. — News24

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Sarah Evans
Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans interned at the Diamond Fields Advertiser in Kimberley for three years before completing an internship at the Mail & Guardian Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane). She went on to work as a Mail & Guardian news reporter with areas of interest including crime, law, governance and the nexus between business and politics. 

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