AfriBusiness and AfriForum today succeeded in the North Gauteng High Court in obtaining a punitive cost order for legal costs, including that of two councils, against the EFF and its leader Julius Malema.
The two organisations in March 2017 succeeded in obtaining an interim interdict against the EFF and Malema for inciting the public to illegally invade land and trespass. This was unfortunately put on hold due to the EFF and Malema’s rescission application in a last-ditch effort to have the interdict set aside. The EFF and Malema attempted to use delaying tactics by filing their heads of argument late, but the presiding judge was not satisfied with the explanations provided for the delays and awarded a cost order in favour of AfriBusiness and AfriForum. The matter was postponed to an undetermined date and will be placed on the roll for the next available court date.
“The EFF and Malema knew they were in trouble and had no justifiable defence as to why our interdict should be set aside. Their efforts amount to nothing more than delaying tactics and we are pleased that the court was not fooled by it,” says Armand Greyling, Law and Policy Analyst at AfriBusiness.
“We will attempt to obtain a new court date as soon as possible to have the matter heard. We must finalise our interdict against Malema and the EFF, including its members, to prohibit them from inciting and calling on the public to illegally invade land and trespass. Should they fail to adhere to the provisions of the interdict, AfriBusiness and AfriForum will institute proceedings for contempt of the court order, which could result in a fine or imprisonment or both for either the political leader or members of his party,” says Hein Gonzales, AfriForum’s Manager of Risk and Support Services.
The EFF and Malema attempted to have the matter postponed out of court, but AfriBusiness and AfriForum made it clear that no postponement would be agreed to, seeing as the political party and its leader had ample time to prepare for the hearing, which the presiding judge agreed was the case.
“It would not have been in the interest of justice, nor justifiable to agree to the postponement as the EFF and Malema continue to call for land invasions and trespassing. Although the final battle has not yet been won, we are confident that we have done our homework properly and that the final interdict against the EFF and Malema will be granted,” Greyling continues.
“We are proud to be in the position to fight for justice and the protection of property rights in South Africa. May this small victory be a beacon of hope to property owners and a warning to institutions who threaten the rule of law and the sovereignty of the Constitution. Malema and the EFF say that they want economic freedom, but their actions will bring only poverty and lawlessness. With every incident of incitement and the leading role they play in illegal occupations of land, they undermine order and the prospect of economic progress for society at large. AfriBusiness and its partners have and will continue to stand in their way,” says Piet le Roux, CEO of AfriBusiness.