The case of assault against the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) leader Julius Malema and member of Parliament Mbuyiseni Ndlozi failed to take off on Tuesday at the Randburg magistrate’s court. The EFF leaders wanted the court to allow for the case to be broadcast.
The pair is accused of assaulting a police colonel on 14 April 2018, when they tried to attend the burial of the late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
In November last year, lobby group Afriforum released footage of the unrest allegedly showing Malema and Ndlozi pushing and pointing fingers at the colonel.
Today a police officer was meant to testify to the incident.
However, Malema said that he would not allow a police officer to give evidence against him and Ndlozi without the media being present.
Outside the court, Malema was filmed saying that: “We will not agree with the suggestion of the magistrate that says that this white man must come and give evidence here today without you [the media].
“And then you make an application after, and then when we appear, she is going to properly give you the permission to come and cover our evidence, yet you did not cover the evidence of a white man. That is a serious distortion. We will never agree to that.”
Malema added that he wants coverage for the full case.
“The media must be allowed in and the white man must be questioned in front of cameras.”
The magistrate halted the proceeding because she wanted a formal media application to allow for the case to be broadcast.
Outside the courtroom, EFF members chanted and held placards saying, “Hands off CIC” [commander in chief].
Addressing his members outside the courtroom, Malema said: “Why do you have a common assault [case] against a police officer? Police get pushed every day.”
He said that if every police officer opened a common assault case there would be no dockets available.
“A white man who suffers from privilege thinks that he cannot be pushed the same way police get pushed all the time. Police must be pushed because half the time they enter difficult areas even where people are emotional at times.”
Malema has previously said that he was provoked by the officer, who he said denied them access to the funeral of Madikizela-Mandela.
However, AfriForum has accused Malema of lying about the incident.
The case has been postponed to 28 and 29 October. Malema called on EFF members to return on those days in their numbers.