Malema to challenge Riotous Assemblies Act

Malema is facing charges of contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act, by calling on his supporters to invade unoccupied land.

FILE: EFF leader Julius Malema addresses his supporters outside the Pretoria High Court. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The case against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has been postponed in the Newcastle Magistrates Court in KwaZulu-Natal.

Malema is facing charges of contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act, by calling on his supporters to invade unoccupied land.

He made the remark earlier this year while addressing supporters in KwaZulu-Natal during the 61st anniversary of the Freedom Charter.

The EFF is maintaining its call for land occupation despite the charges and has called for the entire party to be charged, and not just Malema.

His case has been postponed to 7 December, and the EFF says it intends on challenging the act.

Malema’s lawyers say they will be approaching the High Court to challenge the constitutionality of the Riotous Assemblies Act.

The National Prosecuting Authority says by invading land, Malema contravened section 18(2) b of the Riotous Assemblies Act of 1956.

While EFF leaders have criticised the NPA for using an apartheid law against Malema, supporters gathered outside court say they will be with him every step of the way.

"I came from Pretoria to give support to our leader of the EFF. He is the most capable of challenging the African National Congress (ANC)."

EFF members have been joined by people wearing ANC t-shirts, who claim they are ANC members in support of Malema's utterances to occupy vacant land.

At the same time, Malema says he’s not scared of going to prison and is prepared to lose his job to protect the Constitution and defend to the Freedom Charter.

Malema is addressing supporters outside the Newcastle Magistrate Court.

Malema will have to file an application in the High Court and provide proof to this court by 7 December.

He will appear in the Newcastle Magistrates Court again on 5 May.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)