Cop says paper in Malema's car 'could have been a permit' to enter cemetery where Madikizela-Mandela was buried

Cop says paper in Malema's car 'could have been a permit' to enter cemetery where Madikizela-Mandela was buried

Lt-Col Johannes Jacobus Venter conceded on Thursday that a piece of white paper seen on the dashboard of the vehicle in which EFF leader Julius Malema and EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi were travelling could have been an access permit.

Malema and Ndlozi are standing trial at the Randburg magistrate's court where they each face a charge of common assault. They are accused of assaulting Venter in 2018 at the funeral of struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Fourways.

Malema and Ndlozi have pleaded not guilty, saying the charge was part of a political agenda.

AfriForum had pushed for their prosecution.

Defence lawyer Laurence Hodes took Venter through video footage presented by the state. In the video, Malema and Ndlozi can be seen pushing Venter.

Hodes showed Venter what he said was a permit on the dashboard of the vehicle Malema and Ndlozi were travelling in.

Venter said he saw a reflection of something he could not identify, but not a permit.

Later during cross-examination, Hodes showed Venter a photo of the vehicle Malema and Ndlozi were travelling in to the cemetery. He said the photo showed a permit which was placed on the dashboard of the vehicle. He asked Venter if he could see the permit.

“I see a white paper. It can be a permit,” Venter said.

Venter was asked if he had told his colleagues that he was in pain after being pushed. He said he did not complain because he wanted to continue with his job.

“There is no manifestation of any injury,” Hodes said to Venter. The police officer agreed.

On Wednesday he told the court that he went to a district surgeon and his family doctor after the incident, but did not obtain a medical record. He also did not go to the police station to obtain a J88 form for his doctor to record his injuries.

The matter was postponed to March 9.

Outside the court, Malema’s supporters cheered as they saw their leader emerge from the building.

He waved as he made his way to the podium to address the crowd.

Malema said he was aware of criticism that he is being represented by white lawyers.

“It is true. No-one chooses lawyers for us. We choose our own lawyers and we know which ones are best where.

“We are not an anti-white organisation. We are a non-racial organisation.”

He said Ian Levitt attorneys were their attorneys of record and were paid every month to deal with their legal matters.

Malema said he was not scared of appearing before the state capture inquiry.

“If he [Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo] wants me, he will find me,” he said.