Judgment reserved on Juju eviction
COUNSEL for EFF leader Julius Malema argued yesterday that Thandi Modise’s eviction of Malema from Parliament for saying the ANC “murdered” miners at Marikana was illegal.
Advocate Wim Trengove SC rejected arguments by counsel for Parliament in the Western Cape High Court that Malema’s statement was unparliamentary, because, by referring to the government, which includes all ministers, he had by implication made an unparliamentary remark about MPs.
“We submit that this chain is flawed,” said Trengove.
“To say that government always means MPs is to turn this ruling into one that undermines freedom of speech.”
He said that while the government may sometimes be understood to include ministers and MPs, Malema had been explicit that he was referring to the police. “We don’t have to wonder what he meant because Mr Malema told us: ’I mean the police’.”
Malema launched a legal challenge on the ruling by Modise, the chairwoman of the National Council of Provinces, in July, on the basis that his statements fell under the protection of the constitution.
Judge Lee Bozalek reserved judgment.