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Wrong, racist to criminalise land occupation, says Julius Malema's lawyer

The party says that the Riotous Assemblies and Trespass Acts are laws which were initially designed by the apartheid government to criminalise black people.

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, who represents EFF leader Julius Malema, at the North Gauteng High Court on 12 December 2018. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema's lawyers say that it is wrong to criminalise land occupation and it’s also racist because the majority of occupiers are black people.

Malema's lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi has also argued that when the leader encouraged people to occupy vacant land, a responsive government would have joined in constructive debate.

The party says that the Riotous Assemblies and Trespass Acts are laws which were initially designed by the apartheid government to criminalise black people.

Judgment was reserved in the case between the state and Malema pertaining to the illegal occupation of land on Wednesday at the North Gauteng High Court.

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

The party's deputy president Floyd Shivambu says the EFF is undoing apartheid through the courts.

"What we're doing now is to undo what apartheid used as political instruments and through legislation to criminalise the existence and movement of black people wherever they were supposed to move to."

WATCH: EFF challenges the Trespass Act