Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema’s application to have the Riotous Assemblies Act declared unconstitutional was dismissed by the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.
“Having considered all arguments, this court is of the view that this application is baseless and should be set aside. All parties are ordered to pay their own costs,” said Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba in handing down judgment.
Malema has been charged with violating the Act on at least two occasions – in Newcastle in KwaZulu Natal and in Bloemfontein – when he urged supporters to invade vacant land.
In 2014, during the party’s elective conference in Bloemfontein, Malema told his party members that they should occupy the land. In June 2016, he told supporters in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal to occupy land as it belonged to the black people.
Both criminal trials had been put on hold pending the outcome of his constitutional challenge.
Malema filed an application to the high court in December challenging the constitutionality of the laws used to charge him.
Malema argued that the act was apartheid-era legislation which did not belong on the law books.
He said the Riotous Assemblies Act was passed under the apartheid regime to oppress black people and it should never be tolerated under a new democratic dispensation, and that the Act was used to silence him.