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South Africa Court sets trial date in Malema firearm case

South Africa Court sets trial date in Malema firearm case
Firebrand politician Julius Malema acknowledges supporters as he appears at the Magistrate’s Court in Polokwane, South Africa   -  
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Themba Hadebe/AP

South Africa

South Africa’s radical left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema is set to appear before the court on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, ammunition and three counts contravening the Firearms Control Act.

The East London Magistrate’s Court said the trial will take place from August 23-27 for the EFF leader together with co-accused Adriaan Snyman.

The duo are accused of discharging a firearm at a rally in Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane near East London in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province in 2018.

South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority Spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said they have a strong case against the accused.

“The state is ready to proceed with its case. The investigation of the case is finalized and we are ready to proceed to trial, we are confident of our case,” says Ngcakani.

A video purporting to show Malema discharging a semi-automatic rifle during the 5th-anniversary celebrations for the founding of EFF has been doing around social media.

Malema has maintained innocent on the allegations and further refuted the video as a fabrication.

Malema has been a firebrand opposition leader who fought former President Zuma over graft allegations until he stepped down in 2018.

The EFF was founded in 2013 by Malema after he was thrown out as the leader of the ANC's youth wing.

In national elections less than a year later it won more than a million votes, taking 25 seats in parliament and becoming the third-largest party behind the centrist Democratic Alliance, which holds 89 seats.

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