Malema’s ‘invade land’ comments could spark violence, court hears

These were comments made by the State in arguments against Julius Malema in the case against him at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday afternoon.

EFF leader Julius Malema outside Brooklyn police station addressing his supporters. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

PRETORIA - Lawyers representing the minister of justice in the case against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema have argued that the leader cannot incite people to occupy vacant land as this creates anarchy.

These were comments made by Advocate Hilton Epstein in his arguments in the case against Malema at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday afternoon.

Malema is challenging the constitutionality of the Riotous Assemblies Act, saying the State is using apartheid-era legislation to prosecute him.

He faces charges relating to two incidents in 2014 and 2016 in which Malema allegedly incited party members to invade unoccupied land.

Epstein says there are serious implications for some of the public statements pertaining to land made by Malema.

He highlighted that it was Malema who said “we are not playing; we mean business. The land issue has been with us [for] too long. We are going to occupy unoccupied land. We are taking what is ours.”

Epstein says such words would spark violence, particularly in the current political climate.

At the same time, Malema’s lawyer Thembeka Ngcukaitobi has argued that the Riotous Assemblies Act adopted in 1956 is an apartheid-era law which remains an instrument of oppression.

Malema argues that the apartheid-era legislation is being used to persecute him and the law should not exist in the democratic dispensation.

WATCH: EFF's Julius Malema challenges Riotous Assemblies Act

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)