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Experts fear public influence in Malema assault case after video released

On Wednesday, AfriForum uploaded a surveillance video that it said showed Malema and Ndlozi shoving a man dressed in army uniform.

EFF leader Julius Malema (R) and party spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (L). Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Those involved in the common assault case involving Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi have been cautioned not to allow public debate to influence the case.

The pair appeared in court for allegedly assaulting an officer during the funeral of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in April last year.

On Wednesday, AfriForum uploaded a surveillance video that it said showed Malema and Ndlozi shoving a man dressed in army uniform.

AfriForum has accused the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of dragging its feet on the common assault case.

But NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said prosecutors were following procedure.

“As the NPA, we follow due processes, the matter was not trial ready hence it was not enrolled. Investigations were ongoing.”

Now the lobby group has uploaded a video that shows Malema and Ndlozi shoving the officer several times until he almost falls.

Legal experts said the video now puts the spotlight on the sub judice rule.

Criminal law experts, including Kelly Phelps of the University of Cape Town, have warned that the Oscar Pistorius trial created a crisis of legitimacy for the criminal justice process.

They said this led to expectations and outrage with the verdict and dented the integrity of the judge.

The experts argued that it remained to be seen if the public debate raging because of the AfriForum video would have any impact on the trial now set for March.