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Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema is being charged under an old Apartheid-era law passed in 1956 to prohibit gatherings in open-air public places if the Minister of Justice considered they could endanger the public peace.

The Riotous Assemblies Act came into being after delegates had gathered the previous year at a Congress of the People to discuss the Freedom charter‚ at Kliptown‚ Soweto.

The notorious law was also used as the title of a satirical book in 1971 – ‘Riotous Assembly’‚ by Tom Sharpe‚ which mocked apartheid and the police who enforced it.

The first case is related to statements made by Malema at the EFF’s elective conference in Bloemfontein in December 2014 where Malema called for his supporters to invade unoccupied land.

He told the EFF’s elective conference in Bloemfontein in 2014 that: “We are going to occupy the unoccupied land because we need the land. For us to eat‚ we must have the land. For us to work‚ we must have the land… I come from Seshego. If there is unoccupied land‚ we will go and occupy the land with my branch. You must go and do the same in the branch where you come from.”.

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