EFF leader Malema confronts prosecutor in court during his trial

Economic Freedom Party (EFF) leader Julius Malema took aim at the state prosecution team when the political firebrand took the witness stand on Thursday at the East London magistrate’s court.

Malema and his bodyguard, Adriaan Snyman, are facing charges over the alleged firing of a firearm at an EFF rally in 2018.

The pair also faces charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and contravening the Firearms Control Act.


State advocate Joel Cesar asked Malema if he had requested permission to use a firearm from the police’s joint operations centre (JOC).

Police would not have approved toy gun being used

Malema said there was no way the police would approve a toy gun being used at the EFF’s fifth birthday celebration.

“We didn’t discuss that (musician) Dr Malinga is going to perform there and jump on the stage with JOC. But Dr Malinga performed. Had he fallen and broken his leg and they come and say, ‘had we known that he was going to perform, we were not going to allow him to perform… We were not going to allow him to jump on the stage’.

“You don’t discuss every little detail, especially if it is not of security risk with JOC. We’re not being micromanaged by JOC. The responsibility of JOC is to secure the event, not to manage the programme of the EFF. What goes on the stage is the decision of the EFF as long if it doesn’t have security implications. So a toy does not have security implications. It requires no approval of the police or any other person,” he said.

Cesar paraphrased Malema’s previous day’s testimony that every little thing that happened at the stadium should be run through JOC.

“Yesterday was just yesterday, not long time ago, your memory should be very fresh. I never said that,” responded Malema.


Cesar emphasised that if the gun demonstration had been discussed with JOC, there wouldn’t have been a reason for the criminal case against Malema.

Malema accuses prosecutor of destroying his reputation

“No, you brought me wrongly here, and you know that,” said Malema.

“Either you want to build your career using my name and destroying my reputation and destroying the future of my children and my wife. I possessed a toy and it requires no licence and nobody’s permission for me to use it at anytime.”

He said on the day he was in the presence of four bodyguards. And they had been with him when he arrived at the stadium. He further stated that his co-accused did not arrive with him as part of the group that was with him on the day.

“I saw accused number two on the 27th of July when we were doing the inspection of the sound and the stage. And I saw him again at the actual event. I have known him since 2008, when I went to address the students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. And during my address at the Inkatha Youth Brigade,” said Malema.

He said after that he did not really stay in regular contact but he had been around in events of the youth league. And when the EFF was formed he has been a service provider.

“I would not know in what capacity he was there as on the day of question, but he was there.”

Trained to use a gun at a young age

Malema told the court that he was trained to use a firearm at the age of nine. This was when he was part of a young pioneers movement.

“At that age they taught us how to handle a firearm. And the beginning of such a course was actually with wooden guns. That was when we were young and were being introduced into the idea of firearms.”

He accused the prosecution of incompetence.

“An incompetent, incoherent, inferior prosecution is what you are, trying to prove here and abuse of power. You will not win with me. What is a permanent feature in every event we are in, our songs include a gesture with your hand demonstarting a firearm or a gun. …Not only at political gatherings, but at any revolutionary gathering.”

No permission required to use a gun

Malema told the court that he was not being disrespectful to the court. But he was being honest in telling his truth as he sees it. In his statement to the court he said no license or permission is required to use a toy gun.

“Police officers in their ranks including some experts who came here, have made it clear, you require no license to use a toy. Everything that required permission of the JOC went past them.”

Malema further mentioned two names of the warrant officers of the five that were present. He said he only stated two of them because they were on stage. There was a reason he mention the two, Chauke and Khari. This was because they were known to him before the East London incident. And they had been on his body for some time.

In conclusion, the judge asked to meet with the state and Malema’s lawyers after the court proceedings.

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