Julius Malema has faced the full might of the law on Wednesday morning, after the NPA brought five criminal charges against the EFF leader. He is accused of shooting a round of live ammunition in a public area, after video footage captured him firing a rifle in the air during a party rally in the Eastern Cape last year.
The gathering in Msantsane has gone down in infamy. Grainy cell-phone images were uploaded online in July 2018, which caught Juju right in the act. The politician has denied that the gun was real, and has previously argued the gunfire-sounding noises were just fireworks being let-off during the celebrations.
EFF shooting incident: What Julius Malema has been charged with
The NPA, however, haven’t bought this flimsy excuse. They want to see the EFF leader back in court in February 2020 so he can answer a case against all five charges. Here’s his rap sheet:
- Unlawful possession of a firearm.
- Unlawful possession of ammunition.
- Discharge of a firearm in a built-up area or a public place.
- Failure to take reasonable precaution to persons or properties.
- Reckless endangerment to persons or properties.
- Adriaan Snyman, also part of the event, is charged with failure to take reasonable precautions to prevent danger to persons or property and providing a firearm to someone who’s not allowed to possess one.
What will happen next?
It could well prove to be the costliest birthday celebration ever seen in South Africa. The gun was allegedly discharged at the EFF’s fifth anniversary party. The group were also accused of inspiring “similar incidents” in Gauteng, when mourners began discharging their guns at a local funeral.
It’s not clear what punitive measures the political firebrand will face, but it’s likely that a fine and a costs order will be placed on him. It doesn’t look like there’s any potential for jail time, but this could prove to be another bruising trial for Julius Malema and his public image. The CIC is also facing assault charges laid by the Hawks.