Day three of the trial against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and his bodyguard, Adriaan Snyman, got off to a slow start on Wednesday. The two are facing several charges after a rifle was discharged in a public place at the EFF’s fifth anniversary celebrations in 2018.
The court proceedings were scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m., but they began more than an hour later than expected. This delay caused frustration for Malema, who expressed his dissatisfaction with Magistrate Twanet Olivier.
In a fiery outburst, Malema criticized the magistrate for her consistent tardiness, stating, “She comes to court late all the time, it’s a disrespect that the media should be writing about. She has no regard for this court.”
Malema and Snyman are currently on trial at the East London Magistrates Court for charges related to the discharge of a firearm in public. The incident, which occurred during the EFF’s fifth anniversary celebrations, raised concerns about public safety and adherence to the law.
Due to load shedding, the court proceedings were limited to just two hours on Wednesday. However, even within this restricted timeframe, the trial experienced further delays. Malema, frustrated by the situation, shouted from the dock, accusing Magistrate Twanet Olivier of lacking respect for the court. He argued, “We’ve been here for five years. She’s never early in this court, and no one has ever written an article about it. She’s not above the law, she’s not the law. She has a duty to respect us.”
In response to Malema’s accusations, Magistrate Twanet Olivier explained that she was delayed because she was waiting to meet the defence team in her chambers. However, the defence team did not show up and only notified her later. This miscommunication further exacerbated the tensions in the courtroom.
The trial against Malema and Snyman highlights the importance of punctuality and respect for the legal process. Regardless of one’s position or role in society, adherence to court protocols is crucial for ensuring a fair and just trial. As the trial continues, it will be interesting to see how the court addresses these delays and the impact they may have on the overall proceedings.