EFF statement on stayed warrant of arrest against Julius Malema
24 February 2020
The EFF notes the sensationalist reports that a warrant of arrest has been issued for the arrest of the CIC and President Julius Malema. We note these not only as harmful as they seek to present the CIC as a fugitive, but also as opportunistic by a media that is desperate for a negative story on the CIC and EFF.
We further note that the warrant has been held over until a date of trial has been set by the Magistrate court which is standard legal procedure.
In the previous appearance, the CIC was excused from appearing in the East London Court until the trial starts through the agreement of the Magistrate and the prosecutor. It is law that when an accused does not appear in Court a warrant of arrest is authorized but held over.
That means that there is a warrant but it cannot be executed and the accused cannot be arrested until and unless the accused does not appear in court on the set day of trial when ordered to by the Court.
The issued warrant is therefore standard procedure and is not a cause for concern for the CIC or the EFF. It should not be a cause for concern for any of our supporters or sympathizers. It is a standard legal procedure that is not representative of guilt on the part of the accused or maliciousness from the judiciary.
In fact, it is in the interest of the court that an accused person in a high-profile case appears when the date of trial has been set. When a high-profile case is heard; the court has to increase security and police presence and suspend proceedings in a particular court room, which is avoidable when a held over warrant is issued. In this regard a held over warrant helps the state to save on its limited resources and continue with its business.
We urge those in the media to be mindful of their headlines which cause unnecessary public outrage, but more importantly we urge them to prioritize researched information above their interests to gain public attention.
The CIC will appear before the court as he has done on various occasions diligently when required to do so. This will be done in the best interest of the court and tax payers.
Issued by Vuyani Pambo, National Spokesperson, 24 February 2020