Judgment is expected in the common assault case against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and party MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
The pair is accused of allegedly assaulting Lieutenant Colonel Johannes Venter in 2018 when he tried to stop their vehicle from entering the Fourways Memorial Park, where the late struggle icon, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was being laid to rest.
Malema testified in court that he pushed Venter but said he did not violate any laws at the gates of the Fourways Memorial Park four years ago.
During his testimony, he added that Venter was blocking the car they were travelling in after discovering that he was an occupant.
Malema says Venter, who he claims is a member of Afriforum, was driven by hatred for him and the EFF.
The party has previously lamented the country’s justice system over the delayed finality of the case.
Ndlozi testified that he felt his rights had been fundamentally violated when he was refused entry into the Fourway Memorial Park by Venter.
“I felt fundamentally violated, denied not just my right to freedom or our freedom to movement or freedom to access Freedom Park but also the dignity to mourn somebody we had a relationship with, somebody despite having a relationship with whom we had been at countless moments, we had been told that we may not be able to smoothly attend her funeral when Mr Venter acted in that manner and even refusing any form of engagement it was a fundamental humiliation.”
In his testimony in October 2020, Venter had told the court that while the two had permits around their necks he did not see a permit on their vehicle, a claim Ndlozi disputed.
“We had credentials, we couldn’t assume the entire operation of the type of a category of a funeral means if we couldn’t even get to the stadium in the manner. We could not get into the parking lot, the basement, in the manner we did, we couldn’t exit because we were next to very important people in the country and the continent.”
VIDEO | Malema and co-accused Ndlozi’S assault case in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on July 1, 2022:
Additional reporting by Busi Chimombe.