Police officer testifies how Malema and Ndlozi ’assaulted him’
Johannesburg – The policeman at the centre of the assault charges against EFF leader Julius Malema and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has reiterated his claim that the two assaulted him as he tried to block them from entering the Fourways Memorial Park Cemetery during the burial of Struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 2018.
Johannes Venter – who is attached to the Presidential Unit and was in charge of access control on the day – was on Wednesday the first State witness as the trial began at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court.
EFF supporters came out in their hundreds to give support to Malema and Ndlozi, with a heavy police presence in the area.
Inside the courtroom, Venter charged that Malema and Ndlozi pushed him several times after he told them they could not drive into the cemetery but that they were allowed to walk in as their vehicle had no permit.
“The driver informed me that the leader of the EFF was inside the vehicle. I did look through the back of the vehicle and I did see that Mr Malema was inside the vehicle and I greeted him.
’’I then informed Mr Malema that the vehicle cannot enter but they were more than welcome to walk inside. That is along with the other people and guests.
“Malema said he will not walk in and that he will drive in. He was still inside the vehicle,” Venter said.
Venter said he then asked Malema and those he was travelling with to wait as he asked for permission from the venue operation centre.
“Whilst I was standing in front of the vehicle, I was then pushed from the right hand side. I cannot say who had pushed me. As I turned around and looked back I saw Mr Malema jumping out the vehicle and said ‘no white man will stop me’.
’’Whilst I was still at the front of the vehicle, I was pushed towards the left of the vehicle,” he said.
He said Malema and Ndlozi had then pushed him “hard” repeatedly.
“They pushed me so hard that I lost my balance. I was pushed so hard that I fell against the gate of the cemetery. At that stage General Zulu came close to me and said ’leave, leave’,” he said.
Video footage of Venter entangled in a scuffle with Malema and Ndlozi was shown in court, where the vehicle in which the EFF leaders were being driven in could be seen making its way into the cemetery while the fracas continued, before they hopped in.
Malema and Ndlozi have pleaded not guilty. The trial continues.