This follows amid reports that the EFF leader is also facing possible charges for the public discharge of a firearm.
Lobby group AfriForum announced in a statement on Friday that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) plans to prosecute EFF leader Julius Malema and party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi for allegedly assaulting a police officer.
The case relates to an altercation in April last year that occurred at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral and follows ongoing pressure from the Afrikaner rights group, which has threatened to prosecute the EFF members privately if no action occurs.
An NPA letter resolving that the pair will face a charge of common assault, which has been circulating on social media and was also reported on by EWN, has been confirmed as authentic by NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.
At the time of the funeral, there were reports of a scuffle between three senior EFF leaders and a police officer after they were allegedly denied entry into the Fourways Memorial Park, where the struggle stalwart was laid to rest. Malema reported said “no white person can stop me,” and was eventually granted entry.
He had his own protectors and full accreditation to be there, he claimed.
He later also denied that he had pushed anyone and strongly denied assaulting any VIP protection uni member.
Numerous images could, however, be seen on social media of Malema and Ndlozi surrounded by members of the army and police.
BREAKING #MalemaAssault The NPA has authorised the prosecution of EFF leader Julius Malema and party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, for allegedly assaulting a police officer. BB pic.twitter.com/FScMzk2BBt
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) September 6, 2019
AfriForum’s head of private prosecutions Gerrie Nel said that their organisation welcomed the decision to prosecute Malema and Ndlozi and would continue to put pressure on the state to follow through with it, or would indeed prosecute the matter privately.
“We think it is regrettable that this only happened after we put pressure on them just to fulfil their constitutional mandate. Certainly, we will follow this matter and monitor it to ensure that justice is done.”
Yesterday, at a press conference, Malema claimed the police had contacted him, adding that he thought they may soon attempt to charge him.
“Police have made contact with me. They have said I must go take a warning statement, I think they have taken a decision to charge me. I will remain silent and they must tell me why they are charging me,” he said.
What Malema was referring to was unclear, as he then moved on to other topics, but there was speculation he may have been referring to a case involving his alleged firing of an assault rifle during his party’s birthday celebrations last year. It is one of several ongoing cases involving the EFF leader.
“The establishment will look for everything to bring against me,” he said.
AfriForum has voiced its dissatisfaction over the NPA’s handling of the firearm case, saying that they wished to privately prosecute him over it due to a lack of trust in the prosecuting authority.
“In August last year we filed complaints at the Lyttelton police station against Malema after he fired several shots with an assault rifle during the EFF’s five-year celebrations in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape,” said their head of safety and security Ian Cameron at a press conference in July.
The EFF claimed at the time that it was a toy gun.
“The video clip was allegedly taken up by a police officer who also attempted to file video-based complaints against Malema. According to this person, however, the police refused to accept the charges,” Cameron alleged.
“No feedback has been received from the NPA regarding the above case, which means that no trust can be placed in the NPA,” he continued.
The NPA later confirmed on Thursday that a decision on whether to prosecute Malema for discharging a firearm in public had actually not been taken.
“The NPA confirms that it is yet to take a decision whether or not to prosecute in the Malema matter in the Eastern Cape,” said NPA chief director of communications Bulelwa Makeke on Thursday evening.
On Thursday, News24 reported that the NPA had confirmed that a decision had been taken but that it could not make its decision public until it had communicated with Malema.
On Wednesday, NPA spokesperson in the Eastern Cape Luxolo Tyali confirmed that, while a decision had been made, it could not be revealed.
“A decision has been made but it has to be communicated with the two suspects before it can be shared with the public and media. We will issue a statement when the time is right,” said Tyali. “At the moment, the matter is still in the hands of the investigating officer who is liaising with the suspects. As soon as he is done, we will issue a statement.”
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers) For citizen.co.za