Photo: EFF / Twitter
Photo: EFF / Twitter
The North Gauteng High Court has handed down judgement in the case of Julius Malema vs the Riotous Assemblies Act. Juju was back in the dock to try and have the legislation declared unconstitutional after it was used to chastise him for inciting South Africans to occupy land in an illegal manner.
Malema claims his party have scored a victory, whereas others have been quick to point out the failures of his case. The red corner believes the EFF have won this battle, whereas the opposition feels they’ve been defeated. The truth lies somewhere in between.
CIC @Julius_S_Malema has arrived at the Pretoria High Court, ahead of his appearance regarding the matter of the constitutionality of the apartheid Riotous Assemblies Act of 19. #OurLand pic.twitter.com/Ff0zA2lUVa— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) July 4, 2019
The official verdict – as in, the judgement on Julius Malema’s application to have the law invalidated – has failed. The 63-year-old act was drafted by the apartheid regime, in order to limit the number of public protests.
Malema argued that this law has no place in modern society, but the court didn’t agree with him, declaring the Riotous Assemblies Act as “constitutional”. In this respect, it was an eighth consecutive loss in court for the red berets and their controversial leader.
However, Juju is claiming victory because the particular section of the act he was charged under will now be reviewed in the Constitutional Court. Malema championed this as a success for his case and seemed happy that his party now had “one foot in the door” to get this law overturned.
“We still believe the act is unconstitutional all over. On the Trespass Act, we are appealing that today. By referring it to the Constitutional Court, we have one foot inside the door. We’ve partially gained access to ConCourt and that is where we want to go.”
“It’s a victory for us. They have only charged us with a particular section. That’s where the courts ultimately agree with us. But it says the whole act is constitutional, and we still disagree with that. Sadly, our opponents have to go to the dustbin of history to charge us.”Julius Malema
Given that the original case has been dismissed – and they’ve been asked to pay even more costs for the legal proceedings – it’s hard to see past this being characterised as another loss in the dock for the EFF. Julius Malema may have his consolation goal – an audience with ConCourt – but this isn’t what he wanted to achieve on Thursday.