Julius Malema and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will have to cough up to prevent having their assets sold at auction in order to pay off a debt to lobby group AfriForum.
AfriForum on Thursday obtained a writ of execution from the North Gauteng High Court in order to attach movable assets belonging to Malema and his party.
AfriForum wants R337 758.68 as cost orders issued by the court on two separate cases against Malema and the EFF in a 2017 matter.
Malema and his party have both failed to comply with these orders, which led to AfriForum applying for a writ of execution to be issued in respect of movable property.
In a statement for both party and its leader, EFF said the cost order related to a default judgment AfriForum obtained as the party did not file an appearance to defend.
The EFF unsuccessfully attempted to rescind the judgment and has currently appealed the said matter.
“For a costs order to be enforced, the attorneys for the EFF must be served with a Notice of Intention to Tax a Bill of Costs, which we have no record of. We would like to investigate the circumstances following the Warrant of Execution against a costs order,” it added.
Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, said they believed that Malema’s Breitling watch and a luxury car ought to be enough to cover the debt.
The writ will now be sent to the sheriff, who will have to identify and write-up Malema’s movable assets, with the goal of selling them at public auction if the EFF leader and the party don’t cough up.
The costs order has its origin in a court battle between AfriForum and Malema, in which the lobby group sought to interdict Malema and the EFF from inciting unlawful land grabs or occupations.
On March 7 2017, the court granted the interdict. Malema and the EFF then brought an application to have the interdict set aside, which was to be heard on 12 September 2017.
The court however postponed the case, after Malema and the EFF were late in submitting their heads of argument.
The judge issued a punitive costs order against Malema and the EFF.
During a subsequent court date in March this year, Malema and the EFF’s legal representatives did not arrive and the matter was decided in AfriForum’s favour, with a further costs order against Malema and the EFF.
“Irrespective of whether AfriForum has to attach a Breitling watch, a luxury vehicle, or computers and furniture in the EFF’s offices in order to recover the money, we will ensure that we get the money and in so doing, send a clear message to Malema and the EFF that they are not above the law,” said Kriel.
Flowing from the interdict, AfriForum has also laid a charge of contempt of court against Malema. This is because Malema was still encouraging the occupation of land, said Kriel.
According to AfriForum, the case will be heard on November 14.
This will be the second time this year that Malema is involved in money woes related to court matters.
The former ANC Youth League was declared bankrupt in July, as a result of a defamation claim by former DA leader Helen Zille against Malema and Floyd Shivambu when they were still in the league.
Malema, Shivambu and Andile Lili called Zille a “racist little girl” in 2009. She sued them and the youth league for defamation.
The matter was later settled and the league, Shivambu and Malema accepted responsibility for Zille’s legal costs.