JOHANNESBURG – Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has slammed the court’s decision in the party’s defamation case involving Trevor Manuel in which it was ordered to pay the former finance minister R500,000.
Two months ago, the EFF accused Manuel of corruption and nepotism, saying he influenced the decision to appoint the new South African Revenue Service commissioner Edward Kieswetter.
Malema made a brief appearance in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Friday in the case related to incitement to trespass.
He addressed throngs of supporters after the matter was postponed to November.
Malema was no stranger to the courts. He’s expected to appear again in KwaZulu-Natal next month, for comments similar to the ones that saw him charged in Bloemfontein.
Malema was accused of contravening the 1956 Riotous Assemblies Act after he urged EFF members to occupy land during the party’s elective conference in 2014.
On Friday, a defiant Malema slammed the judiciary. “Once they say you must pay 500,000 for accusing a politician, you must know political speech is taken out of the Constitution. We are all denied the right criticise one another.”
He also maintained there was no justice without the return of land: “We are not in this struggle to be liked by the president or a judge – anyone doing something inconsistent with the Constitution will be confronted by the EFF.”
He said even those who bought land must know it was stolen land and the rightful owners would claim it.