Afrikaner rights group AfriForum said over the weekend they might have to attempt to have EFF leader Julius Malema and his party declared bankrupt in an effort to squeeze out the last of the legal costs the party still owes AfriForum.
On Wednesday, two separate judges of the High Court in Pretoria granted two further costs orders against Malema and the EFF in favour of AfriForum.
However, AfriForum’s application for the court to send Malema to jail for six months and fine the EFF R500,000 for ignoring a court order interdicting them from inciting illegal land invasions was removed from the court roll.
This was after the EFF failed to file its opposing affidavit on time, sought a postponement and offered to pay the wasted legal costs. The contempt application will now probably only be heard next year.
In another court, it was ruled that the EFF’s urgent application to stop the sheriff from selling the party’s assets to satisfy two costs orders relating to the interdict in AfriForum’s favour was not urgent. It was struck off the roll with further costs.
Malema and the EFF this week gave notice of their intention to seek leave to appeal against both the interdict and two costs orders in AfriForum’s favour.
Counsel for the EFF Tembeka Ngcukaitobi confirmed that the EFF had already paid some R126,000 in respect of a costs order granted against the party and its leader in September last year. They still owe AfriForum about R211,000 from that case.
Following the new costs orders, EFF’s debts to AfriForum are thought to have now shot up to more than R400,000.
Malema told eNCA’s Vuyo Mvoko on Thursday that their humiliating legal losses were as a result of “incompetent” lawyers.
He detailed the mistakes made by the EFF’s legal team before saying: “They [AfriForum] have not won [on] the merit. They’ve won on technicalities because of the EFF not being present. Now we’ve corrected that – bring it on, Baba.”
However, according to a report in Maroela Media, the sheriff was only able to find and attach assets worth R66,550 at the EFF’s headquarters in Braamfontein. Malema also tweeted that he didn’t have enough money to pay AfriForum.
As a result Kriel said this weekend that their legal team would consider all options to get the money out of the EFF and Malema, even if it meant applying to have them declared bankrupt and auctioning off their assets.
Kriel said the EFF was trying to present itself as a powerful factor in politics, but it was clear the party was “dysfunctional” and managed its legal matters and finances poorly.
He alleged that the red berets had attempted to avoid accountability for their actions, but this had “boomeranged”.
He undertook to use whatever funds they could take from the EFF to fight land expropriation without compensation.
He added that AfriForum would try to have the contempt of court case brought before the courts again as quickly as possible.
AfriForum’s private prosecutions unit still wants to prosecute Malema on corruption charges that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is yet to make a decision on.
When AfriForum originally announced that they intended to prosecute Malema privately on charges of corruption related to a company that received tenders in Limpopo when he was still the leader of the ANC Youth League, the NPA said they would announce a decision on the case by the end of August.
That never happened. A new NPA head, however, is expected to soon be announced with a final shortlist of candidates being considered for appointment by the president.
If they do decide not to prosecute, Advocate Gerrie Nel is expected to lead the prosecution of Malema.