EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG: Civil rights organisation Afriforum has obtained a warrant to seize movable assets belonging to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and its leader Julius Malema to settle a debt.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria granted the order to recover R337 758 in legal fees.

The court had issued two cost orders against Malema and his party, but they had failed to pay up.

The cost orders emanate from a North Gauteng High Court case brought by Afriforum against Malema in its bid to stop the red berets from inciting people to grab land.

”The issued warrant will now be sent to the sheriff concerned for the latter to identify and record movable assets of Malema and the EFF, in order for it to be sold by public auction. Malema and the EFF owe AfriForum this amount, due to the North Gauteng High Court issuing two cost orders against Malema and the EFF in favour of AfriForum since March 2017. Malema and the EFF had disregarded the court’s orders to pay the legal fees of AfriForum, resulting in AfriForum now obtaining this warrant to seize their assets,” the organisation said in a statement on Sunday.

In March last year, the high court ruled in favour of AfriForum and granted it an interdict against Malema to stop encouraging supporters to occupy vacant land.

Malema and his party then applied for the interdict to be set aside. The application was scheduled to be heard on 12 September 2017, but the court postponed the hearing due to late filing of heads of arguments by Malema and the EFF.

The court then issued a punitive cost order against him and the red berets.

In another court appearance in March this year, legal representatives for Malema and the EFF failed to turn up in court, and the judge ruled in favour of AfriForum and issued another cost order against Malema and the EFF.

Afriforum CEO Kallie Kriel said his organisation will seize any of Malema and EFF’s assets and use the money to fight land grabs.

”Irrespective of whether it’s a Breitling watch, luxury vehicle, or computers and furniture in the EFF’s offices will be seized in order to recover the money owed to AfriForum, we will ensure that we will obtain it in order to send a clear message to Malema and the EFF that no one is above the law,” he said.

Furthermore, Afriforum has filed a case of contempt of court against Malema scheduled to be heard later this month, Kriel said.

IOL