The civil rights organisation AfriForum today obtained two cost orders in separate court cases against Julius Malema and the EFF in the Northern Gauteng High Court. Together with today’s two cost orders, AfriForum has already obtained five cost orders against Malema and the EFF since March 2017.
The first case heard in the High Court today was for contempt of court that AfriForum brought against Malema and the EFF because they continued to incite landgrabs despite a standing interdict which AfriForum obtained to prevent them from inciting people to grab land. The EFF and Malema’s legal team did not submit their heads of argument in time, which means that the case will have to be heard later. With this, the EFF and Malema incurred yet another cost order.
In the second case heard today, the EFF and Malema attempted to obtain an urgent court order to prevent AfriForum from removing the EFF’s property and bringing it under the hammer to recover legal costs. Judge Johan Louw ruled that the case wasn’t urgent and granted another cost order against Malema and the EFF.
According to Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, the fact that AfriForum has already obtained five cost orders of around R550 000 against the EFF and Malema is an indication that Malema and the EFF abuse the legal system in a bid to frustrate AfriForum and evade responsibility for their own illegal actions. “Malema and the EFF’s attempts to be above the law turned against them, while the money that they now owe AfriForum will be used to fight expropriation without compensation and landgrabs in court,” Kriel adds.
Today’s two court cases stem from the case in which the Northern Gauteng High Court granted an interdict with cost in AfriForum’s favour on 7 March 2017. This interdict prohibits Malema and the EFF from encouraging people to grab land. Malema and the EFF then brought an application to set this interdict aside, which would have been heard on 12 September 2017. The Court had to postpone the case, however, after Malema and the EFF’s heads of argument had been submitted late. The judge subsequently issued a punitive cost order against Malema and the EFF. Their legal representatives failed to attend the court hearing in February this year, and the case was settled in AfriForum’s favour when the annulment application was rejected with cost.
Kriel points out that Malema and the EFF yesterday paid an amount of R126 703,59 to AfriForum. According to Kriel, this is not yet the end of the road, because without today’s cost orders the EFF and Malema already owes an amount of R211 005,09 to AfriForum. “Today’s two cost orders against the EFF and Malema means that they will have to fork out another estimated R200 000,” Kriel says.
According to Kriel, AfriForum’s legal team will now attempt to bring the pending case of contempt of court against Malema and the EFF before the court as soon as possible.