DURBAN – Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, did not appear at the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court on Friday for the resumption of a common-law case of incitement and trespassing.
Instead, his legal team represented Malema and the case was again postponed.
The National Prosecuting Authority said Malema’s next appearance would be on June 25.
In June 2016, Malema told supporters in Newcastle to occupy land because it belonged to blacks; whites could not claim ownership of land, he said.
After his brief appearing at the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court in November 2016, Malema stepped outside the court and told his supporters to “occupy the land, because they have failed to give you the land”.
“If it means going to prison for telling you to take the land, so be it. I am not scared of prison because of the land question, but I am scared of prison if I go to prison for corruption. I don’t want to go to prison for corruption, but I want to go to prison for the land,” he told supporters.
“We are not calling for the slaughter of white people - at least for now.”
In 2014, at the EFF elective conference in Bloemfontein, Malema told members they should occupy land, which led to him being charged for the first time under the Riotous Assemblies Act.
When appearing in court in Bloemfontein on those charges in 2016, he again told supporters who had gathered outside the court to take any “beautiful piece of land” they saw because it was taken from blacks “by genocide”.
The firebrand commander-in-chief, often described as racist and divisive, has played a pivotal role of bringing the issue of land expropriation without compensation into the mainstream political discourse.
In February, the EFF proposed a motion for expropriation without compensation in parliament, which was passed by the majority.
The African National Congress has said that expropriation without compensation should take place in a manner that increases agricultural production and food security and does not harm the economy.
Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee has been tasked with reviewing section 25 of the Constitution and other necessary clauses to make it possible for expropriation without compensation. It has to report its findings to the national assembly by no later than 30 August this year.
African News Agency/ANA