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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Malema’s attack on magistrate condemned

Malema believes that Magistrate Twanet Olivier's decision to dismiss his application to have his 2018 case thrown out of court was a "sponsored judgment".


The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has weighed in on Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema calling Magistrate Twanet Olivier incompetent and corrupt.

Malema made the comments while addressing a crowd of red beret supporters outside the East London Magistrate’s Court last week where Olivier dismissed his application to have his 2018 case of illegally discharging a firearm thrown out of court.

Judges Matter has condemned Malema’s remarks and called on the red berets leader to apologise, which he said the organisation will get in “hell.”

“Vitriolic” attack

Justice and Constitutional Development spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said the department has noted the remarks calling it a “vitriolic” attack.

“Whilst it is permissible to criticise and debate the reasoning of judicial officers’ decisions, attacking their person and directing sensational conspiracy theories at judicial officers is not correct.

“We call upon all role players to ensure they uphold the independence of the judiciary by seeking accountability through established channels, not populist channels where no due process can be established,” said Phiri.

He added that if there is questionable conduct by a judicial officer, complaints should be duly filed with the Judicial  Services Commission or the Magistrates Commission.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Malema claims ruling in gun charges case ‘sponsored judgment’

Sponsored judgement

During his comments last week, Malema said they requested for his trial in the East London court to be postponed to July next year after the general election.

“We want to come back here and to sit and listen to that incompetent magistrate who comes late to court, can’t get her papers in order, can’t read her own judgments, who adjourns the court during judgment to go back seat and receive Pravin Gordhan’s call, receive Ramaphosa’s call and receive Batohi’s call.

“When she comes back to give her judgment, she’s shaking like hell because it’s not her judgment, it’s a sponsored judgment. Where have you heard such a thing that a magistrate leaves in the middle of a judgment to go behind the court and when she comes back, she’s shaking like a little girl in Grade 1 to give an English presentation in front of her classmates,” shouted Malema.

Charges

Malema and his bodyguard Adriaan Snyman are currently on trial for illegally discharging a firearm in public.

In 2018, Malema was captured on camera allegedly firing what appeared to be an automatic assault rifle during the EFF’s fifth birthday celebration at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane.

ALSO READ: ‘They will get it in hell,’ Malema says to demand for apology to East London magistrate