The EFF leader Julius Malema speaks during the second national people’s assembly in Nasrec. Picture: Itumeleng English / African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG - EFF leader Julius Malema warned the judiciary not to venture into the political arena, reminding them that they were not above the law.

In his three-hour opening address at the EFF’s national people’s assembly in Nasrec, Johannesburg, Malema said judges should stick to the law.

“The judiciary must be above politics The most important question to a judge is: What does the law say? Not how I feel,” he said while addressing delegates at the party’s second elective conference.

“They will lose confidence and betray the very idea of the supremacy of the law. No one, not even them as officers of the court, are above the law.”

Malema’s stern warning comes at a time when the country’s third-largest political party has lost a number of court cases.

This as the party leader faces charges of assaulting a senior police officer and discharging a firearm in public.

Both incidents happened last year.

The EFF recently lost its North Gauteng High Court bid to set aside Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s remedial action that President Cyril Ramaphosa take action against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan for his role in the establishment of the so-called SA Revenue Service rogue unit.

Malema accused the government of using apartheid era legislation to silence him and stop him from fighting for the landless after he was charged in terms of the Riotous Assemblies Act for inciting trespass by calling for the occupation vacant land.

He remained highly critical of Ramaphosa’s administration, claiming it had been captured by white monopoly capital.

“SAA must not be sold to anyone,” said Malema of the troubled national carrier now under business rescue.

He said Eskom should be owned by the state and not be unbundled.

The party was scheduled to elect new leaders, with EFF chairperson Dali Mpofu, treasurer-general Leigh-Ann Mathys and secretary-general Godrich Gardee largely expected to be challenged, while Malema and his deputy Floyd Shivambu were not expected to be challenged.

Meanwhile, a number of news media outlets pulled out of covering the conference. This after journalists from Daily Maverick, Scorpio, amaBhungane, Rapport and Caxton publications were reportedly banned from attending.

TV news broadcaster eNCA also showed solidarity by refusing to cover the event. Malema responded to the withdrawal as “unfortunate”.

The conference ends Monday.