Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and EFF MP, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, made another appearance in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
The pair – who have been charged with the assault of Lieutenant Colonel Johannes Jacobus Venter – were not given a chance to testify, but instead joined the rest of the court in watching the CCTV footage of the incident.
In a live ENCA broadcast of proceedings, Venter continued his testimony, insisting that he was doing his job when he refused to allow the vehicle transporting Malema and Ndlozi to enter Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral ceremony at the Fourways Cemetry in 2018.
Malema – who is a close friend of the Madikizela-Mandela family – became livid when Venter halted them, with Ndlozi following suit. The pair are both seen pushing Venter in the footage.
Defence attorney for Malema and Ndlozi, Advocate Laurence Hodes, questioned Venter’s actions on the day of the incident as the recording played in court.
Hodes asked Venter if he saw the vehicle’s permit on the dashboard, to which Venter replied that he did not, which is why he stopped the vehicle. Hodes then showed the court a photograph of the vehicle at the gate which shows an object on the dashboard resembling a permit.
“At that stage my back was turned, so they could have put a permit there while I wasn’t looking,” Venter said.
Venter told the court he had no problem allowing Malema and Ndlozi in to walk to the funeral service, but Malema insisted on driving in, which is when the confrontation occurred.
He said he then tried to radio his superior to check if the vehicle had accreditation, but could not make contact before Malema and Ndlozi accosted him.
“According to me I behaved accordingly and within my right. In my view, the vehicle was not part of the convoy and did not have a permit. Even if it did have a permit I would have still stopped it because I was told only to allow the vehicles of family members and dignitaries inside,” Venter said.
Hodes disputed this, telling the court that the evidence and footage shows the vehicle was indeed part of the convoy and had accreditation.
State Prosecutor Michelle Hart went on to scrutinise the footage, putting the court’s attention on the behaviour of police officials while the incident ensued.
Hart pointed out that certain police officials had on numerous occasions tried to stop Malema and Ndlozi from accosting Venter, while others looked on.
The matter was postponed to 9 March 2021 for further evidence.