NEWS & ANALYSIS

Julius Malema taken on in ConCourt – Sakeliga

Case forms part of an attempt to evade prosecution on several charges that EFF leader incited illegal occupation of land

Sakeliga takes on Julius Malema and EFF in ConCourt

18 February 2020

Incitement to commit trespassing and illegal occupation of land on a grand scale should be protected under the Constitution as free speech, was essentially what Mr Julius Malema and the EFF suggested today to the Constitutional Court. The case forms part of an attempt by Mr Malema to evade prosecution on several charges that he incited his followers and/or the public to commit trespassing and illegal occupation of land.

Business organisationSakeliga argued as amicus curiae that incitement to commit a crime can never be protected as free speech, as Mr Malema and the EFF suggest. Sakeliga argued that the existing legal framework, offering protection as it does against incitement, trespassing and illegal occupation, is not unconstitutional and should not be watered down to suit Mr Malema and the EFF.

Sakeliga sought with its contributions to support the arguments of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) and the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, strengthening the ability of the NDPP to prosecute Mr Malema.

“It is unthinkable that Mr Malema or anyone else should receive the protection of the Court or the Constitution when they incite people to commit crimes such as trespassing and illegal occupation. As applicants, they are essentially trying to legitimise what remains essentially criminal conduct, and to weaken the legal framework for property rights in the country to facilitate wide-spread illegal occupation of land. Under what Mr Malema suggests it will become prohibitively expensive to protect one’s property against the infringements of those inciting crime and those occupying land illegally,” says Piet le Roux, CEO of Sakeliga.

Judgement has been reserved.

“In recent times we have seen that land grabs appear to take a more organised and systematic turn. We encourage property owners to take pro-active steps discourage invasions of their property,” Le Roux urged.

Since the release in December 2018 of Sakeliga’s Landgrab911platform, 68 businesses and individuals have made use of it to pro-actively counter land-grabs. “They have all been successful so far. In not one case has it been necessary to approach a court for an interdict, and users could rely instead on the information, documentation and plans provided on the platform to guide them in guarding against land grabs,” says Le Roux.

Issued by Piet le Roux, CEO: Sakeliga, 18 February 2020