“If I had laid a hand on him, I would have ‘panelbeated’ him. It would have been worse than what you saw. I don’t play when I lay hands.”
These were the words of EFF leader Julius Malema outside the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, where he and EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi appeared on Wednesday on charges of common assault.
The two are accused of assaulting a police officer at the funeral of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela last year and they have been charged with common assault.
Magistrate Liesl Davis postponed the case to March 10 2020, to allow the accused and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) time to hold consultations and make representations and disclosures before the trial starts.
Addressing the media outside of the courtroom, Malema said the case was a waste of the court’s time.
“… well it is a waste of time. That’s why the magistrate ruled against the media’s application [to film the proceedings] because it is a useless case. I don’t know what you are all doing here. It’s a waste of the court’s time and we will deal with it,” Malema said.
He said lobby group AfriForum pushed to get the matter to court, applying apartheid tactics against him and Ndlozi.
“We are happy to be dragged to court by the Boers. That’s what makes us happy because it means there is something right we are doing. They are not after [President Cyril] Ramaphosa, [UDM leader] Bantu Holomisa and [Cope leader Mosiuoa] ‘Terror’ Lekota. They are after the EFF, which means that the EFF is up to something. They are after the EFF.
“We don’t feel bad. Their only regret is that we didn’t take decisive action at the time. We should have decisively dealt with the man. We are dealing with useless things.
“I mean, if you are stopped from burying your mother, how will you react? A white man comes and says to you, you can’t bury your mother at Winnie Mandela’s funeral. It can’t happen. The NPA just decided to go the way they went, because they are succumbing to the Boers’ agenda, which is driven by AfriForum.
“It is a waste of time. The NPA should have looked at the occasion, and asked what was happening? What is the relationship of these people with the occasion and apply, not only the law, but the principles of Ubuntu? They are scared of white people and decided no black man provokes a white person and goes unpunished.
“We are here because we had a scuffle with a white man. If it was [a] black man they could have said the two of you go for mediation and find each other. But, you don’t touch a white person as a black person. If I had laid a hand on him, I would have ‘panelbeated’ him. It would have been worse than what you saw. I don’t play when I lay hands.
“I didn’t do that. Mbuyiseni didn’t do that. All we were fighting for is to enter the cemetery and go and bury our mother. We had all the right to be there and he was not going to stop us.
“If we are going to prison for having fought to bury Winnie Mandela, so be it. Let it be. We are being arrested for fighting to bury a revolutionary. I think it was a genuine cause.”
AfriForum CEO, Kallie Kriel, said everyone was equal before the law and they would not allow anyone, including Malema, to assault a police officer.
“Malema isn’t known for being a truthful person. He denied firing a firearm unlawfully. Next week, he is appearing in court for that in East London. He is lying about his involvement of the [alleged] VBS looting, he is lying about involvement in On Point [Engineering alleged] corruption. So we are not surprised that he is denying this,” said Kriel.
NPA Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said they followed due processes before taking the matter to court because investigations were ongoing.
She said they had to wait for those investigations to be concluded before the case could go to court.