EFF President Julius Malema and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi say the charge of common assault they are facing is part of a political agenda. They won’t plead guilty for they did not assault Policeman.
They are standing trial at the Randburg magistrate’s court, where they each face a charge of common assault.
Malema and Ndlozi are accused of assaulting policeman Johannes Jacobus Venter in 2018 at the funeral of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Fourways.
AfriForum had pushed for their prosecution. There was a large police contingent and a number of EFF marshals controlling traffic outside the court.
On Wednesday Malema and Ndlozi pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Their lawyer, advocate Laurence Hodes, said Malema and Ndlozi believed they were entitled to enter the cemetery for Madikizela-Mandela’s burial and that their obstruction was illegal.
“They believe there is a political agenda. They have tried to reach out to the complainant as a token of ubuntu but it was rejected,” Hodes said.
However, Venter said he did see the permits of Malema and Ndlozi on their necks. But he did not see permit for Malema’s car to enter the graveyard.