Pretoria - EFF leader Julius Malema’s legal challenge to have the Riotous Assemblies Act of 1956 declared unconstitutional, was on Tuesday removed from the roll in the Gauteng High Court Pretoria.
The matter was on the opposed motion roll and scheduled to be heard this week, but Judge Sulet Potterill removed it so that the parties could approach Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba for another court date. This is because arguments are expected to run into more than one court day and a special judge had to be allocated to hear the matter.
Malema faces criminal charges of allegedly contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act after calling for land invasions. In 2014 during the party’s elective conference in Bloemfontein, Malema told his party members that they should occupy the land.
In June 2016, he told supporters in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal to occupy land as it belonged to the black people.
He earlier appeared in the Magistrate’s court in Newcastle as well as in the magistrate’s court in Bloemfontein, but the cases were postponed pending his constitutional challenge.
His legal team is disputing the constitutionality of the Riotous Assembly Act and has accused the State of using “apartheid-era laws” to try and silence him.
According to the charge sheet in the Newcastle case, he has been accused of incitement to commit a crime.
The charge read that on November 7, 2016 he unlawfully and intentionally incited, instigated, commanded or procured his EFF and/or others to commit a crime, to wit, trespass, in contravention of Section 1 (1) of the Trespass Act 6 of 1959 by illegally occupying any vacant land wherever they found some and thereby committing the crime of incitement.
He faces a similar charge in Bloemfontein.
It is meanwhile not yet know when his Constitutional challenge would be heard by the high court.