Arrest warrant issued for Julius Malema
East London - The East London Magistrate’s Court has issued a warrant of arrest for EFF leader Julius Malema for failing to show up in court.
The warrant has been stayed until May 8, when Malema is due to appear in court again.
Malema was set to appear for a charge brought by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for his alleged discharge of a firearm in a public space. The incident took place in 2018 at the EFF's rally in East London.
Footage of the incident surfaced on social media, which appeared to show Malema discharging the firearm at the rally while celebrating with supporters. The case had been previously postponed.
Malema explained in September last year how police had contacted him regarding the incident.
"Police have made contact with me and said they requested to see me on Tuesday for a warning statement. I think they have taken a decision to charge me... but no worries, that's my life, me and the establishment always fight.
"Police say they took a decision to charge me but they'll wait for the right time... what is a right time? Because if a crime is committed, police must charge immediately and act decisively," Malema said.
"They are going to charge me and I will answer in court. I decided to remain silent, it's my right. I hear people talking about a rifle...
"I don't know those things. This is not a big issue, you get charged or sent to jail when you are in politics."
The EFF said at the time that Malema was doing a "simulation act" and didn't use a real gun.
It had been reported that in Monday’s appearance the State was expected to hand over the video clip to the defence.
This is the second time in as many weeks that a court has issued an arrest warrant for a senior politician in the country.
A few weeks ago the High Court in Pietermaritzburg issued a warrant of arrest for former president Jacob Zuma for his corruption trial.
Zuma’s arrest warrant was stayed until May 6, when he is due to appear in court again.
The medical certificate was at the centre of the dispute for Zuma’s non-appearance. The judge questioned it as the date appeared to have been altered.
The former president returned to the country at the weekend after undergoing medical treatment in Cuba.