We believe that Tumi Mokoena is innocent - Julius Malema

EFF leader says he would meet farm management to understand what triggered the dispute involving his lawyer

Malema says his lawyer is innocent

Lebowakgomo - EFF leader Julius Malema will meet with farm management to find out what triggered a dispute between workers and his lawyer.

His lawyer Tumi Mokoena is accused of attempted murder, after he allegedly shot and injured four farmworkers. He has claimed self-defence.

Mokoena was granted bail of R10 000 in the Thabamoopo Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday morning.

During the bail hearing, Mokoena, in an affidavit, said that, during the confrontation last Thursday at Zebediela Citrus Estate, he had fired shots after he overheard workers - who were armed with stones and sticks - saying that they didn’t want him around.

Malema, who arrived in court to support Mokoena, said he would be meeting with workers to find out what had triggered the conflict.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, Malema said: "It has been an unfortunate scene, especially black brothers and sisters, we must learn the art of resolving whatever difficulties, in very much a peaceful way.”

He pleaded for peace, saying people should at all times avoid confrontation, because it led to unfortunate situations.

"We believe that Mr Mokoena is innocent and it will be proven in court, and we have full confidence in our judiciary. We hope that the sooner they resolved this matter the better," said Malema.

He said he would also secure a meeting with the farm management to understand what triggered the dispute.

Meanwhile, the Food and Allied Workers Union in Limpopo said they were disappointed that Mokoena had been released on bail on Tuesday.

Fawu provincial chairperson Peter Mashishi said: "We are so discouraged, we never thought that Mokoena will be granted bail, because workers are still in hospital while he is free."

Mokoena will appear in court again on August 25.