LEGAL costs are escalating rapidly for the EFF and its leader Julius Malema, pictured with Hlengiwe Hlophe and advocate Dali Mpofu at a rally in George. Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)
THE cost orders are piling up against the EFF and its leader Julius Malema.

Yesterday, the party turned to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, for a reprieve, but instead received two more cost orders in separate cases.

This brings the cost orders to a total of four against them in favour of AfriForum. Apart from yesterday’s two additional orders, Malema and the EFF owed AfriForum R211000. The bill initially stood at R337758.68.

The first cost order of the day came after advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, on behalf of the EFF, asked that AfriForum’s contempt of court application should be removed from the roll.

He said the EFF and Malema were not ready to proceed, and the party opted to foot the legal bill for the proceedings.

AfriForum asked for an order to jail Malema for six months and fine the EFF R500 000 for allegedly ignoring the order interdicting them from inciting illegal land invasions. This application will be heard at a later date.

The second cost order followed when Judge Johan Louw struck from the roll an urgent application brought by Malema and the EFF against AfriForum. The judge found the application was not urgent.

This was to stay the execution of a warrant to sell the assets of the EFF on public auction to recover the outstanding costs against Malema and the party.

AfriForum obtained a warrant on November 1 from the court to seize the movable assets of Malema and the EFF to pay the outstanding cost orders obtained during previous litigation between them.

The Sheriff attached the movable assets of the EFF at its office in Johannesburg on Friday last week. The assets have not yet been removed to be sold at public auction. AfriForum said it would give the party and Malema ample warning once it wanted to sell the assets and it was willing to negotiate about the issue.

Malema and the EFF said they did not trust this undertaking and wanted it made an order of court.

Ngcukaitobi said they were heading to the Constitutional Court this month to challenge the “apartheid” Riotous Assembly Act, the subject of one of the cost orders against it.

Malema also filed an application on Tuesday that he intended asking for leave to appeal against an interdict issued by the court months ago barring him and his party from encouraging the landless to occupy vacant land.

Ngcukaitobi said the two upcoming legal challenges were both the subject of the cost orders and it thus in effect suspended the orders. He refused to entertain AfriForum’s undertaking that it would not simply sell the EFF’s assets without prior warning.

He told the court they would contest both the interdict and the Riotous Assembly Act because it violated the EFF’s political rights. He argued that it was inappropriate to criminalise land occupation in a country facing a housing crisis.