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By Alex Eliseev
Allegations that Julius Malema assaulted a police reservist who tried to break up his all-night party at the weekend were part of a conspiracy hatched by Helen Zille and her opposition party.
This, and the fact that Malema did not need a police appointment card to be a reservist, were among his fiery responses to the news that broke yesterday about a house-warming party he held in Sandton.
Standing outside the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court, Malema kicked off by telling his supporters that they did not need permission to gather on the pavement. The court in which his hate speech trial was conducted was too small and they therefore had a right to be in the road, he said.
"The police want permission! What permission?" the ANC Youth League president shouted. "No one must provoke us, otherwise next time you are saying we beat up police officers."
The joke was well received, and he continued.
"I'm a police reservist myself. I don't need a letter of appointment. I know my responsibility is to fight crime."
He told the crowd that a "permanent agenda" existed to undermine the ANC Youth League leadership.
Malema lashed out at The Star in particular, asking: "How do you report such a thing?" He was referring to the fact that the newspaper had not named the police reservist who made the allegation.
"We don't entertain faceless allegations."
He said "spies from Helen Zille" were responsible for this latest scandal.
Zille's response to Malema's accusations was: "No sane person would believe Mr Malema, and I have no intention of getting into dialogue with him."
DA national spokeswoman Lindiwe Mazibuko also brushed aside the accusations, calling them "patently absurd but not unusual coming from Julius Malema and the ANC Youth League".
Meanwhile, Gauteng police Superintendent Eugene Opperman confirmed that a case of assault had been opened at the Bramley police station yesterday.
"We will investigate and the case will be forwarded to the public prosecutor for a decision," he said.
The Star reported yesterday that Malema hosted a housewarming party at his Sandown, Sandton, home on Saturday night. The bash saw Harley-Davidson motorbikes roaring through the quiet suburb, a live band and plenty of booze.
Neighbours began complaining, and the party was broken up by the police around 4am. But not before Malema and his bodyguards allegedly assaulted the reservist, who is also a neighbour.