Pleading Not Guilty
South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema addressed his supporters after appearing in the Randburg Magistrates Court on Tuesday as he and party MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi face assault charges against a white police officer that date back to the funeral of African National Congress (ANC) veteran Winnie Madikizela Mandela in 2018.
He maintains their innocence and draws racial parallels with the recent farm murders, “That black boy who killed a white man must go and rot in jail. He’s not our problem. We do not protect criminals. But we will never allow white men to show us what they showed Mandela during the negotiations. That thing must have ended there. That white arrogance should have ended there. It can’t continue now, 25 years into democracy.”
A Complex National History
President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, called for calm and reason on Monday in at a public address in Johannesburg as he dispelled the notion that murders on rural farmlands were racially-motivated and not simple criminality in light of belligerent protests by mainly white angry farmers that fueled potentially divisive national tensions in a country already racially traumatised by its colonial past.
After apartheid, a colonial regime whose effects – as Ramaphosa had recently reminded South Africans, linger within the country. Although the president condemned the most recent farm homicide earlier this month, he also disapproved of white farmers storming a courthouse to attack the two black murder suspects and he appealed to South Africans to stay united in justice and not divided by race.
Malema and Ndlozi’s trial was due to begin today but was postponed to October 28 due to an application by the media to record the proceedings.