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Malema was not obliged to appear in court, says lawyer

Julius Malema's lawyer, Ian Levitt, said that his client informed both the State and the magistrate presiding over the matter prior to today's sitting that he would be absent.

FILE:  Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema pictured at his party's second national conference at Nasrec on 16 December 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Despite a warrant of arrest being issued for Julius Malema, his lawyer said that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader was not obliged to appear in the East London magistrates court on Monday.

The red beret leader is facing charges related to the discharge of a firearm at a rally in Mdantsane in 2018.

But Malema's lawyer, Ian Levitt, said that his client informed both the State and the magistrate presiding over the matter prior to today's sitting that he would be absent.

Levitt insisted that Malema only needed to present himself in court when the trial got under way.

"A trial date has not been set down yet and Mr Malema has not been obliged to appear in court as per the arrangement with the prosecutor and the magistrate. The impression that he was obliged to appear in court is incorrect."

Malema is expected back in court on 8 May.

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