EFF leader Julius Malema attempts to force the State to drop criminal charges suffered a knock. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - EFF leader Julius Malema attempts to force the State to drop criminal charges of incitement suffered a knock after his instructing attorney failed to serve the High Court in Pretoria with a proper notice to challenge the Riotous Assemblies Act.

His legal challenge was forced to be delayed for more than two hours after it emerged that Malema’s attorney had apparently failed to serve the Registrar of the High Court in Pretoria with a proper notice to challenge the “apartheid” Act.

According to Rule 16 (A) 1 (a) Malema instructing attorney was supposed to serve the Registrar, on time, clearly detailing the EFF’s leader legal challenge against the Riotous Assemblies Act. The notice was also supposed to be on display on all relevant notice boards for a period of 20 days to allow other interested parties to join the court action.

Due to the absence of the missing vital piece of document which was supposed to contain EFF leader Julius Malema legal challenge - the full bench of the High Court was forced to postpone the hearing until December.

Malema initially applied to the High Court in November 2016 to declare the ‘apartheid law” on the Riotous Assemblies Act declare illegal in the post-apartheid South Africa soon after criminal charges of allegedly inciting his members to grab land. He was initially charged with incitement on October 23, 2016, in the Free State and another charge was brought against him on November 7, 2016, in KwaZulu-Natal. Malema had maintained since the inception of the two charges against him that it was a political ploy by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) against him. At the time, he also berated the NPA that they were using an apartheid statute to prosecute.

All these prompted him to ask the High Court on November 9, 2016, to declare the Act illegal.

However, his initial attempt to prove that indeed that the Act was illegal failed to materialise. The attorney was instructed in May to file a proper notice and met all the requirements. Initially, Malema argued that his instructing attorney has filed proper papers but the attorney was not in court on Wednesday to make a representation or file an affidavit. This prompted Malema’s legal counsel Tembeka Ngcukaitobi to concede that the mistake might have been that of his counsel.

Adv Ngcukaitobi agreed that the matter be postponed. The High Court, however, is expected to make a cost order against Malema if his attorney is found to have breached the legal requirements of Rule 16 (A) notice.

The Star