- The firearm discharge trial of EFF leader Julius Malema and his bodyguard, Adriaan Snyman, is under way in the East London Magistrate’s Court.
- Malema is accused of firing a rifle in front of a crowd in Mdantsane in July 2018, and Snyman is accused of handing the semi-automatic rifle to the EFF leader.
- The pair face charges related to the violation of the Firearms Controls Act.
EFF leader Julius Malema lost his cool in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday and launched a scathing attack on magistrate Twanett Olivier, accusing her of disrespecting the court by being late for proceedings.
Olivier, who was not present during the outburst, denied the claim when she arrived in the court.
Malema is accused of firing a rifle in front of a crowd in Mdantsane in July 2018, and his bodyguard, Adriaan Snyman, is accused of handing it to him.
Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
On Wednesday, Malema went on a tirade an hour after the court failed to start proceedings.
Standing in the dock, the outraged EFF leader, who faces charges related to the violation of the Firearms Controls Act, said:
She has never been early to any court. This is nonsense.
“We must not talk because we must be scared to go to jail. It can’t be. We have rights and our rights must be respected.”
Court proceedings were meant to start at 11:00 due to load shedding.
Olivier was not in court during Malema’s mini meltdown, and when she finally arrived, she outright denied the claim of always being late.
She told the court she was instead waiting in vain for the defence attorneys to join her and prosecutor advocate Joel Cesar in her chambers.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and Adrian Synman appear at the East London Regional Court on 11 September 2023 in East London, South Africa. It is reported that Malema allegedly fired a firearm at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium while the party was celebrating its 5th anniversary.
Advocate Shane Matthews for Snyman told Olivier they elected not to honour her request because they wanted discussions to be made on the record before the court.
It is unclear what the discussions in the chambers would have been about.
The State is expected to call the investigating officer in the case, Colonel Rodney Swartbooi, and ballistics expert Colonel Mandisi Mgwadleka to testify next.