Riotous Assemblies Act still an instrument of oppression, argues EFF

EFF leader Julius Malema is challenging the constitutionality of the Act, saying the state is using apartheid-era legislation to prosecute him.

The EFF's Floyd Shivambu pictured with Julius Malema’s lawyer Thembeka Ngcukaitobi at the High Court in Pretoria on 12 December 2018. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The defence lawyer for EFF leader Julius Malema has argued that the Riotous Assemblies Act adopted in 1956 is an apartheid-era law which remains an instrument of oppression.

Malema’s defence says the Act was clearly part and parcel of segregationist legislation.

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

The charges relate to two incidents back in 2014 and 2016 in which the EFF leader allegedly incited party members to invade unoccupied land.

WATCH: EFF's Julius Malema challenges Riotous Assemblies Act

There’s a buzz at the High Court in Pretoria, where Malema’s lawyer Thembeka Ngcukaitobi is presenting their case on why the Riotous Assemblies Act isn’t in alignment with today’s Constitution.

It was in 2014 when Malema told supporters in Bloemfontein to seize unoccupied land. In 2016, he repeated the call in Newcastle.

The case was brought by lobby group AfriForum.

Men and women clad in army attire with red EFF berets, and who go by the name Defenders of the Revolution, are stationed at various spots inside and outside the court.

While Malema himself is not present, national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Godrich Gardee and Floyd Shivambu are.

Advocate Ngcukaitobi has given an in-depth context of the Riotous Assemblies Act, arguing that it was designed by the apartheid government to legitimise the oppression of black South Africans.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)