East London – The East London Magistrate’s Court has issued a warrant of arrest for Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema for failing to appear in court.
Malema was set to appear on Monday for allegedly discharging a firearm at an Eastern Cape rally in 2018.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Eastern Cape spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said the order was stayed until Malema’s next court date – May 8, 2020.
“Today was to furnish the defence with the contents of the docket. After this, his (Malema’s) attorney will then take further instructions from him and it will be decided by the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDDP) if a trial will start, however there are other options that could be decided – the ball is in their court.”
Tyali emphasised that the warrant was entirely procedural as per court rulings, and did not mean that police would run after Malema.
Speaking to Newzroom Afrika shortly after the decision was made by the court, newly appointed EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo said:
“What has been issued is called a held over warrant which is a standard procedure where it was an agreement between the defendant, prosecutor and magistrate that the accused does not have to appear in court until the trial date has been set.”
“So the standard procedure is something the police have in their hands and cannot enforce it until the day of trial if he fails to appear, but there is no warrant of arrest that has been issued for the president to be arrested.
African News Agency/ANA