The “incitement” trial of Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) leader Julius Malema is expected to resume in the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Malema will appear on common law charges of incitement to commit a crime.
The charge sheet indicates that the Malema is accused of trespassing in contravention of “Section 1(1) Read as Section 2(1) of Trespass Act 6 of 1959 as amended by Criminal Law Amendment Act 59 of 1983”.
In June 2016, Malema told supporters in Newcastle to occupy land because it belonged to blacks; saying whites could not claim ownership of land.
After his brief appearing at the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court in November 2016, under the Riotous Assemblies Act was postponed — he was released on a warning — Malema stepped outside the court and told his supporters to “occupy the land because they have failed to give you the land”.
“If it means going to prison for telling you to take the land, so be it. I am not scared of prison because of the land question, but I am scared of prison if I go to prison for corruption. I don’t want to go to prison for corruption, but I want to go to prison for the land,” he told supporters.
“We are not calling for the slaughter of white people – at least for now.”
In 2014, at the EFF elective conference in Bloemfontein, Malema told members they should occupy the land, which led to him being charged for the first time under the Riotous Assemblies Act.
When appearing in court in Bloemfontein on those charges in 2016, he again told supporters who had gathered outside the court to take any “beautiful piece of land” they saw because it was taken from blacks “by genocide”.
Malema’s legal team is disputing the constitutionality of the Riotous Assembly Act. The EFF has accused the State of using “apartheid era laws” to try to silence its critics.