The case of common assault against EFF leader Julius Malema and party national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is “ready for trial” and the Office of the South Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Andrew Chauke, has instructed a senior public prosecutor at the Randburg Magistrates’ Court to issue summons on the pair.
Phindi Mjonondwane, spokesperson of the Gauteng National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), confirmed to City Press that the senior public prosecutor had been instructed by Chauke's office to place the matter on the court roll.
The common assault charge emanates from Malema and Ndlozi having allegedly attacked a police officer at struggle-icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral last year.
The incident is on record as it was allegedly captured by a surveillance camera.
The list of potential legal action against the party’s leadership seems to be growing.
The NPA in Mthatha is ready to pounce.
Regional spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said the NPA in the province was waiting for a docket from the Hawks on Malema.
The priority crime investigative unit has been probing an allegation that he discharged a firearm at an EFF rally in the Eastern Cape last year.
“As you know, this week it was Mr Malema’s prerogative to accept the warning statement from the Hawks or decline it as he did. This, however, did not affect the case against him,” said Tyali.
He said the NPA was waiting for the docket to be brought back to the province before the prosecuting authority could make an informed decision on whether to lay charges against Malema.
Tyali said it could take a few days or a few weeks before such a decision could be reached.
Addressing supporters outside the Hawks’ Pretoria head office after he refused to cooperate with the investigating unit, Malema said he had been informed of a potential five charges against him as a result of his alleged firing of the rifle.
He told the Hawks that “should they wish to institute charges they should go ahead. We will meet in court,” said a defiant Malema.
“They are pleasing the real people behind these charges – AfriForum. This was also the case last week; the NPA made a show about how they were charging me and Mbuyiseni [Ndlozi] only for them to give us a call today and say the file in its current state was not ready to take to court.”
Malema said he was bemused by the fact that AfriForum, the complainant in the case, was worried about events taking place at an EFF rally and the safety of EFF supporters.
“Why would they care about what we do as the EFF? While we are on this matter, I do not know of any gun; all I remember were fire crackers. If they [AfriForum and the Hawks] saw a gun they will have to tell us whose gun it was, who used it and when.”
Armed with three legal heavyweights, advocates Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and Laurence Hodes, and attorney Ian Levitt, Malema told his supporters that the incident in which Ndlozi is a co-accused had occurred as a result of being provoked.
“They tried to block me from speaking at Mama Winnie’s funeral. They failed and they deployed white police officers to stop me from entering the graveyard; even there they failed.
“They tried to influence the family not to allow me to talk. Fikile Mbalula tried [to prevent me] and other ANC officials [tried to prevent me], yet the family allowed me to talk,” said Malema.
He said he had received a call from “an individual at the NPA” who had informed him that “the file [case against him] in its current state was not admissible in court” and further investigations were to be undertaken.
Mjonondwane rubbished this claim, saying the matter was ready for prosecution.
She, however, did not disclose when the summons would be served on Malema and Ndlozi.
AfriForum has been at the forefront of calling for action to be taken against Malema, having opened a case against him on July 30 last year.
In July this year AfriForum announced that they would approach the court with a mandamus application which would compel the NPA to make a decision regarding the prosecution of Malema, as well as two other cases against him.
Even with the two cases looking set to be prosecuted, AfriForum’s Gerrie Nel said his organisation still wanted the NPA to recharge Malema on allegations of corruption with regard to government tenders, one of which was a R52 million contract that was awarded to On-Point Engineering in 2012.
Malema allegedly benefited from the proceeds.
“We must, however, mention that we are still awaiting a decision from the NPA on whether they will re-enrol the On-Point matter in which Mr Malema stood charged on counts of corruption, fraud and money laundering. We have indicated our intention to pursue a private prosecution should the NPA fail to prosecute,” said Nel.
Malema initially faced charges related to the matter but the case was struck off the roll in 2015 because his co-accused was sick.
. This article was corrected on September 16 to reflect the correct name of the director of public prosecutions