Malema files court papers challenging constitutionality of Trespassing Act

Application comes on back of land invasion case EFF leader is facing

Malema files court papers challenging constitutionality of Trespassing Act

6 July 2017

Johannesburg – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) filed papers in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday challenging the constitutionality of the Trespassing Act.

The application comes on the backfoot of the land invasion case which EFF leader, Julius Malema, is facing at the regional court in Newcastle.

For now the land invasion trial, which was due to begin this week in Newcastle, has been postponed to September 1 pending the outcome of the high court application.

NPA spokesperson, Luvuyo Mfaku, confirmed that Malema's lawyer Tumi Mokoena had filed papers at the high court.

"They are challenging certain sections of the Trespass Act 6 of 1959," said Mfaku.

The postponement, which was heard at the regional court in Newcastle on Thursday, was processed in the absence of Malema and Mokoena.

The pair had asked the court for permission to be excused when they appeared briefly before magistrate Theunis Christiaan Lotter Colditz on Tuesday morning.

It emerged in court that Malema was seeking a high court order to declare the case against him unconstitutional, irrational and for it to be set aside.

Malema is in hot water for calling on EFF supporters to invade unoccupied land in 2016.

Malema's resistance

According to the charge sheet, he has been accused of incitement to commit a crime on November 7, 2016, in Newcastle.

He has already been charged twice (in Newcastle and in Bloemfontein), under the Riotous Assemblies Act.

And he is currently challenging the constitutionality of the Riotous Assemblies Act at the Constitutional Court.

On Tuesday, shortly after the postponement, Malema told the media that he believed that the charges against him were malicious and politically motivated.

"They want to undermine the call for people to occupy the land because they think that this programme is working and it is benefiting a lot of people. They have no intention of ensuring that black people get the land back - and by getting the land back, they get their dignity back."

A defiant Malema said he would not back down on the call for people to occupy land.

"Our call still stands: People must occupy land. That is what the Freedom Charter says and if any court finds me guilty then it will have to find the Freedom Charter an illegal document," he said.

Malema said his defence planned to use the Freedom Charter, statements made by former president Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo to defend his call.