Is Malema pulling the wool over the Court’s eyes?
14 June 2017
AfriBusiness and AfriForum’s legal team has requested information from the Registrar of the Constitutional Court about whether Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, had filed and issued any papers in his purported application to have the Riotous Assemblies Act, 1956 (Act No 17 of 1956) declared invalid and unconstitutional. The Registrar has since duly informed both parties that neither Malema nor the EFF had filed any application to this effect.
This follows after an appearance by Malema in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court for contravening this Act. Malema’s undertaking to bring the application has seen his hearing in the Magistrate’s Court being postponed to 27 October 2017, pending the outcome of the Constitutional Court’s ruling.
The question now arises whether Malema is simply playing for time to produce a defence for calling upon his supporters in 2014 to illegally occupy land, or is wilfully trying to mislead the Court. Whatever the case may be, it is unlikely that any application regarding the constitutionality of the said Act would be heard in July and a judgment delivered in September, as the media reported.
“It is worrisome that a politician who makes statements in a court of law that in effect halted criminal proceedings against him, does not follow through with the intended actions which he submitted to the Court. If he does not launch an application with the Constitutional Court, the Magistrate’s Court may view his conduct as being in contempt of Court, effectively landing him in even deeper trouble,” says Armand Greyling, Law and Policy Analyst at AfriBusiness.
It is the intent of both AfriBusiness and AfriForum to oppose any application launched by Julius Malema to have the Riotous Assemblies Act, 1956 declared unconstitutional, as there can be no comprehensible reason to condone anyone from inciting the public to either commit acts of violence or other criminal activities without facing consequences.
Issued by Armand Greyling, Law and Policy Analyst, AfriBusiness, 14 June 2017