The police colonel that EFF leader Julius Malema and EFF MP Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi stand accused of assaulting at struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s burial in 2018, is adamant he did nothing to provoke the pair that day.
Lieutenant-Colonel Johannes Venter, from the police Presidential Protection Services, took the stand in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning, when Malema and Ndlozi’s trial started.
Asked by the public prosecutor if he had at any stage provoked the accused, Venter replied in the negative.
“The driver perhaps?” she pressed further.
But Venter stuck to his guns. “At no stage,” he said.
The case against Malema and Ndlozi dates back to April 2018. The pair were caught on camera pushing Venter after he refused their vehicle entry to the Fourways Memorial Park where Madikizela-Mandela was being buried.
The footage was shown in court on Wednesday morning.
Malema and Ndlozi assaulting a Police Officer at Winnie Mandela’s Funeral. Clear evidence of an assault. Now let’s see how South African Twitter responds. pic.twitter.com/kbcroF32O2
— Renaldo “Ngamla” Gouws ???????? (@RenaldoGouws) November 20, 2019
In the stand, Venter recounted how the events of that afternoon had – according to him – unfolded.
He said he had been instructed not to allow anyone other than the family or the President drive their vehicles in.
He stopped the vehicle and saw Malema sitting inside.
“I greeted Mr Malema. I then informed Mr Malema that the vehicle cannot enter but that they were more than welcome to walk inside,” Venter said, “But Mr Malema said he would not walk in, he would drive in.”
Venter said while he was trying to secure permission to allow the vehicle in, he was “bumped” from the right.
“As I turned around and looked back inside the vehicle, I saw Mr Malema jumping out of the vehicle and saying: ‘No white man will stop me’,” he said.
He said he was then pushed. “At that stage I could not see who it was,” he said.
But he was adamant when he was pushed again, it was by Malema and Ndlozi.
“While I was still standing in the front of the vehicle, after I was pushed by Mr Malema and Dr Ndlozi I then saw how Mr Malema and Dr Ndlozi were coming towards me for the second time … They pushed very hard at me.”
Venter said he lost his balance and fell against the guardhouse before a senior office intervened and instructed him to leave.