Limpopo - The man at the centre of Julius Malema’s latest brush with the law says he doesn’t know why the Economic Freedom Fighters leader assaulted him.
Malema was apparently involved in a road rage incident in Polokwane, Limpopo, on Tuesday evening after he and two other men allegedly swore at and punched Bernard Redelinghuys.
“I was caught off-guard, he pinned me down and attacked me while I was sitting in my car. My privacy was invaded. What they did was wrong,” Redelinghuys told The Star on Wednesday.
He said he had clearly identified Malema, who swore at him and punched him.
“He (Malema) said ‘we will f*** you up’ and then slapped me”, Redelinghuys claimed.
He said he was approaching a set of traffic lights in Polokwane when a silver Mercedes-Benz S-Class in which Malema was travelling suddenly cut in front of him.
He said he had merely signalled to them that they almost caused an accident when they jumped out of their vehicle, then grabbed and manhandled him.
One of the men allegedly pulled Redelinghuys’s arm, while the other allegedly tried to take his keys out of his car.
Malema denied assaulting Redelinghuys. “I don’t know what you are talking about. No one has spoken to me (about the alleged attack). A few people have called me, but I don’t know anything,” he said on Wednesday.
Police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed that charges of common assault and malicious damage had been opened against Malema at Polokwane police station. He said the alleged attack happened at about 5.20pm on Tuesday.
“He (Malema) allegedly slapped this guy with an open hand. They (Malema and his group) allegedly even broke his (the complainant’s) car’s side mirror,” Mulaudzi said.
He said the incident happened near the intersection of Grobler and Munnik streets.
Mulaudzi said the police would take statements from the accused and refer the docket to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision on whether to prosecute.
Malema was arrested in December for reckless and negligent driving, plus exceeding the speed limit, after he was trapped at 215km/h in a BMW 5-series sedan on the N1 highway near Vanderbijlpark.
Also last year, Malema appeared in the Thabamoopo Magistrate’s Court after he allegedly assaulted three people at a chisanyama (street restaurant) in Lebowakgomo, outside Polokwane. Malema was said to have pulled out a knife, which he denies.
Malema has until May 26 to tell the SA Revenue Service why he should not be declared insolvent, after the Pretoria High Court ordered earlier this month that he be provisionally sequestrated. The order relates to the more than R16 million Malema owes in taxes and interest.