EFF president Julius Malema is appearing before the courts for merely talking about resolutions adopted by the political party at its national people’s assembly, EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee said.
“Government has decided to develop a political programme for the Economic Freedom Fighters,” he told a handful of supporters at a night vigil held in support of Malema at the Botho community hall on Sunday night, ahead of the leader’s appearance at the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
He said the government was ensuring the EFF remained in the public domain, with Malema having to make appearances in Newcastle last week and now in Bloemfontein for calling on supporters to invade unoccupied land.
“We could have been taking a rest after a well-fought battle in the local government elections, but we have to hop from one town to another, one province to other because [Jacob] Zuma has determined a date for us,” said Gardee.
The EFF’s commander-in-chief is due to appear in the regional court charged with contravening the 1956 Riotous Assemblies Act after he first called on supporters to occupy unoccupied land on December 16, 2014 and made similar remarks in Newcastle in June during the party’s freedom charter rally.
Malema appeared before court in Newcastle on November 7, where his lawyer Tumi Mokwena indicated that the political leader wished to approach the High Court in order to challenge the constitutionality of the apartheid-era law.
Gardee said other members of the EFF’s central command team will join their leader in court, supporting him through what they have dubbed a “political case”.
“It’s not the president appearing before the court – it is the revolution that is on trial, it is the seven cardinal pillars which are non-negotiable that are on trial, principle number one on expropriation of land, which is non-negotiable – that is on trial,” said the EFF secretary general.
Minority rights group AfriForum, which is a complainant in the matter, is expected to also sit in on court proceedings. Its CEO Kallie Kriel confirmed to News24 that he would be in attendance but that he was hoping the organisation’s members would not demonstrate against the EFF leader and instead leave it to the courts to handle the matter.