Having received an urgent complaints by the Guptas against the threats of violence made by the EFF on the the company’s shareholders, staff and property, Pretoria High Court yesterday barred the Julius Malema and the EFF from inciting violence against the family.
The EFF was said to be unable to convince the chief judge Johan Louw that the threats they issued against the politically connected family were just “political campaigning” and not an incitement to violence.
During the court proceeding yesterday, EFF’s advocate Ishmael Semenya, argued indefence of the EFF that there was no evidence of threats except for utterances by Malema at a press conference last week, which Semenya referred to as “part of election campaigning”
Semenya further added that the Guptas has no proof indicating that the EFF actually wanted to carry out their threats and that EFF’s threats of driving the Gupta family out of South Africa “was fair comment in a political landscape”, arguing this was a valid campaign speech.
However,advocate Nic Maritz who was acting for the Guptas argued that there was reasonable proof showing that the EFF’s speech might actually happen. He said this while presenting to the court a live news report showing EFF members shouting “Shoot Zuma, shoot the Guptas” outside the Constitutional Court yesterday.
The CEO of Oakbay Investments,Nazeem Howa alongside 12 others, including Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Kumar Gupta – presented court papers showing that some of their business executives had received threatening phone calls on Monday, some made between 2.30am and 3.50am.
Seeing all these, the Pretoria High Court Judge Johan Louw granted the order barring Malema and his party from inciting violence against the politically connected family. But in reaction to this order, Malema said EFF would continue to criticize the Gupta family.
“We must respect the courts. But the courts can’t stop us from saying that we don’t love the Guptas. We don’t want their curry,” he said
On the other hand, the editor-in-chief of the New Age newspaper Moegsien Williams said the company can not be stopped by Malema and the EFF’s actions,”our employees have the right to go to work and do their jobs without the threat of violence. We welcome today’s ruling.”