Malema’s lawyers were aware as early as last year that Malema would be issued with a warrant of arrest.
Johannesburg – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has described the reaction to the warrant of arrest issued for EFF leader Julius Malema by the East London Magistrate’s Court for his gun case as being “blown out of proportion”.
The criminal case of Malema and his co-accused Adriaan Snyman – who face five charges over Malema’s discharging of a rifle in Mdantsane in 2018 as the EFF was celebrating its fifth birthday anniversary – briefly proceeded during their absence from court on Monday.
NPA regional spokesperson Luxolo Nyali said Malema was not facing imminent arrest as the State was aware that he was not going to attend the case, adding that the court had issued the warrant, which has been stayed until May 8, as part of normal procedure.
“Even if an arrangement is made, the court may issue a warrant of arrest which may be stayed. It won’t be affected. It is not like there are going to be police running around looking for Julius to arrest him,” Tyali said.
The matter was postponed in November last year to February 24, for the State to provide the defence with the docket contents and alleged video footage.
Tyali said courts issued stayed warrants of arrest daily and very few of the affected individuals actually faced imminent arrest as many could explain the reasons for their non-attendance.
“It is just that these days it is happening to people who are prominent,” he said.
Tyali said Malema’s lawyers were also aware as early as last year that Malema would be issued with a warrant of arrest.