- EFF leader Julius Malema’s attempt to have the State retract an incitement case against him suffered a blow
- Malema’s lawyer failed to serve the Pretoria High Court with a proper notice to challenge the apartheid era Riotous Assemblies Act
- The matter has been postponed until 12 December 2018
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s challenge of the constitutionality of the apartheid era Riotous Assemblies Act suffered a minor blow on Thursday. Malema’s lawyer failed to serve the Pretoria High Court registrar with the proper notice to challenge the act.
According to the rules of the High Court Malema’s lawyer was meant to serve the notice to challenge to the Registrar on time. The notice to challenge is according to court rules meant to be on display for at least 20 days in order to allow other parties to join the challenge. The notice should also detail the nature of Malema’s challenge.
The full bench of the Pretoria High Court was forced to postpone Malema’s challenge until 12 December because of the missing notice and the strict implementation of court rules and guidelines.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Malema’s challenge of the so-called apartheid act stems from two charges of criminal incitement pending against him.
Timeslive.co.za reported that the first charge dates back to shortly after Malema was elected as president of the then relatively young EFF in 2014. The second charge was brought against Malema in 2016.
IOL.co.za reported that the charges relate to Malema allegedly inciting EFF members to occupy land. During his acceptance speech in 2014, Malema told EFF supporters that they should occupy vacant land if they needed land.
At the time Malema said he and his Seshego branch would occupy vacant or unused land in Mpumalanga and he urged his supporters from other regions to do the same. This led AfriForum to lay criminal charges against Malema.
The second charge relates to two alleged instances in 2016 when Malema again urged his supporters in the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal to occupy land. Malema immediately moved to challenge the constitutional validity of the act which dates back to 1956.
The EFF leader has always claimed the criminal charges were little more than a political ploy carried out by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Malema publicly criticised the NPA for using an outdated apartheid-era law in a post-democratic South Africa.
Malema initially asked the High Court to declare the Riotous Assemblies Act unconstitutional in November 2016 but the motion failed to pass muster.
Malema could still be dealt a financial penalty for the delay in the form of a cost order if the court rules that his lawyer was in breach of court rules by failing to give proper notice as set out in rule 16 (A).
The EFF noted that the two pending incitement cases against Malema could not proceed until the High Court had ruled on the constitutionality of the act. The party said if the court agreed that the act was unconstitutional the charges against Malema would be scrapped.
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