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‘Malema & Hofmeyr treated preferentially’

The Justice Project SA says the men were both given unusually lenient treatment after their speeding arrests.

Julius Malema and Steve Hofmeyr were both arrested on 19 December for speeding. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN & WikiCommons.

JOHANNESBURG - Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) believes Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and well-known Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr were given preferential treatment after both were arrested for speeding in two separate instances on Thursday.

Malema was caught traveling at 215 kilometres per hour just outside Vanderbijlpark while Hofmeyr was arrested for speeding at 169 kilometres in Bronkhorstspruit, both in 120 zones.

JPSA Chair Howard Dembovsky says detainees usually spend a significant amount of time in custody before bail is given, but with Malema and Hofmeyr it was different.

"[It can be] anything between 13 and 24 hours behind bars before bail gets extended," he says.

But Transport Minister Dipuo Peters is adamant the two didn't receive special treatment.

Malema briefly appeared in the dock yesterday before his case was postponed to next year, while Hofmeyr is expected to make his first court appearance on Monday.

The EFF said Malema's incident was regrettable and urged people not to follow his example, while Hofmeyr conceded his actions were irresponsible and dangerous.

Meanwhile, some are questioning why there are discrepancies between the amount of bail money paid by Malema and Hofmeyr.

Malema tweeted on Wednesday that he was required to pay R5,000 for bail while Hofmeyr only paid R500, suggesting racial discrimination was at play.

Speculation is rife as to why the two were treated differently but Dembovsky says it's likely because Malema is already facing other criminal charges.

"It has nothing to do with the fact that he was driving faster. They chose - because of the fact that he's facing other criminal charges at the moment - to call in the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] to set bail for him."