Thu. Oct 29th, 2020

Julius Malema: Five times his calls for “land grabs” got him in serious trouble

Julius Malema Bosasa RamaphosaJulius Malema – and his frequent calls for land grabs – will be challenged in court on Wednesday, as the bombastic leader faces more legal strife.

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The North Gauteng High Court will hear the case against Julius Malema and his calls for land grabs on Wednesday, following numerous postponements and delays since proceedings began in 2016.

It caps a tumultuous few months for the EFF’s legal team, who have been forced to pay hundreds of thousands of rand to their nemeses at AfriForum. Another unfavourable ruling this week could have the same financial effect, and even impact the way the party operates.

What law has Julius Malema broken?

Juju is accused of contravening the Riotuous Assemblies Act of 1956, which strictly forbids the incitement to “steal” land. However, Malema has argued that this apartheid-era law should be declared invalid, as it was a tool of oppression used by the racist government.

The CIC has gained most of his international notoriety by advocating land grabs, and has called on citizens to occupy land that doesn’t belong to them several times over the years. We’re taking a quick glance at what he’s said, and how much trouble it’s landed him in:

Julius Malema and his public calls for land grabs

2010 – Advocating Zimbabwe-style land grabs

In his capacity as the ANC Youth League leader, he made a controversial visit to Zimbabwe and released a statement insisting that South Africa follows Mugabe’s example on land reform. Erm, no thanks. Malema went on to face disciplinary charges from his party after breaking from official ANC policy.

2014 – Establishing his position as EFF leader

One year after registering the red berets as a political party, Malema made it very clear that nothing had changed in his mind about land grabs. Juju called on supporters to begin occupying land “in order to provide food and work”:

“We are going to occupy the unoccupied land because we need the land. For us to eat‚ we must have the land. For us to work‚ we must have the land.”

2016 – CIC catches the NPA’s attention

Two years later, and Juju is still very much advocating the seizure of land by black citizens. He expressed that those without property had every right to grab what they wanted. However, this did not fly with the NPA, who charged Malema for contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act after he made these comments:

“So, if you see a piece of land and you like it, don’t apologise, go and occupy that land. That land belongs to us.”

2017 – AfriForum weigh in

The North Gauteng High Court granted an interdict with costs in AfriForum’s favour on 7 March 2017, which prohibits Malema and the EFF to encourage people to illegally occupy land.

However, the EFF leader stuck to his guns and repeated his calls for land grabs just hours after the court case had ended. He rejected the court’s findings, but Malema’s defiance would have repercussions further down the line.

Times he has called for land grabs since

He’s advocated the illegal occupation of land at EFF rallies, and even during one extremely heated Parliamentary exchange in May 2018. There’s “Parliamentary privilege”, and then there are statements like this:

“They must occupy land. There’s nothing this Parliament can do. With or without you, people are going to occupy land. We require no permission from you, the speaker, the president… No-one!”

After continuing to break the 2017 ruling, AfriForum again sought to report Julius Malema to the magistrates. Last month, a judge ordered Juju and his party to pay R326 000 to AfriForum, who successfully sued him for being in contempt of court.

Furthermore, the EFF also incurred costs for not turning up to court on time and ultimately failing with their interdict against the case. They also failed with an interdict to prevent their assets being seized in November, sticking more money onto their AfriForum bill.

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