Ballistic expert testifies for Malema in firearm criminal case

The firearm discharge case of EFF leader Julius Malema will continue on Wednesday, with the state expected to cross-examine defence witness Jan-Christophl de Klerk.

During court proceedings at the East London magistrate’s court on Tuesday, ballistic and forensic expert De Klerk testified on behalf of Malema and his co-accused bodyguard, Adriaan Snyman.

De Klerk said he is a ballistics and forensics expert with 40 years of experience in the field.
He said some of the positions he has held include working in the South African Police Service (SAPS) from 1984.

Since 1989, he has been working in the SAPS’ ballistic section of the forensic laboratory services. This until he left the role in 1998 under the rank of captain.

Alleged firing of a firearm during EFF’s birthday celebration

De Klerk was testifying about the difference between real and unreal firearms.

The trial continues on Wednesday, with state prosecutor Advocate Joel Cesar expected to start his cross-examination of De Klerk.

The ongoing case relates to the alleged firing of a firearm during the EFF’s fifth birthday celebration. This happened at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane, Eastern London, Eastern Cape in 2018.

Malema faces charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. He also faces three counts of contravening the Firearms Control Act.

Snyman faces one count of contravening the Firearms Control Act. He is also charged with failure to take reasonable precautions to avoid danger to a person’s property.

Not guilty plea

Malema and Snyman have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Earlier on Tuesday, during cross-examination, defence witness Martin John Hood gave testimony. He said Malema is not unfit to possess a firearm according to the Firearms Control Act of 2000.

“Accused number one [Malema] is not unfit to possess a firearm. He is not disqualified to possess a firearm in terms of the [Firearms Control] Act,” said Hood.

In October last year magistrate Twanet Olivier dismissed Malema and Snyman’s application. They wanted to have the charges against them dropped. This after they submitted a section 174 discharge application. In it they were arguing lack of evidence at the conclusion of the state’s case. 

The trial has been set for Tuesday to Thursday. Malema and Snyman are expected to testify this week. The EFF leader is represented by Advocate Lawrence Hodes SC. Snyman is represented by Advocate Shane Matthews.

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