Julius Malema’s lawyer, advocate Tumi Mokwena has been granted bail of R10 000 by the Thabamoopo Magistrate’s Court sitting in Lebowakgomo, Limpopo.
Mokwena, a prominent Limpopo lawyer appeared in the court on Tuesday for attempted murder for shooting and wounding 4 farm workers in Zebediela, Limpopo on Thursday, 22 June, at about 09:30.
His formal bail application hearing was attended by the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema. There was excitement in the public gallery as Malema walked in. Advocate Mokwena had represented Malema in several cases, including his tax trial in 2016.
During the proceeding, Mokwena told court through his lawyer that he shot the men in self-defense, as he was surrounded by five hundred people armed with stones.
Tumi later opted to pay R10 000 for his freedom pending trial as the state said it will not oppose the bail application.
Malema’s lawyer was arrested at his office in Polokwane on June 22, for Zebediela Citrus Farm shooting. The farm is one of the biggest citrus producers in Africa.
It is owned by the Bjwatladi Communal Property Association (BCPA) – a group of land restitution beneficiaries. Advocate Mokwena joined the farm as a manager in 2016 after he successfully represented the BCPA against Boys Group.
However, his relationship with the farm owners soured after about 1 500 workers were not paid their salaries late last year. He was accused of increasing some workers’ salary and neglecting some. He left the farm in February and returned for the first time on the day of the incident.
He had visited Zebediela Citrus Farm to represent five workers who had salary disputes with the management. The workers allegedly asked Advocate Tumi Mokwena to leave the farm and he [Mokwena] asked for security.
He then opened fire after some farmer workers blocked his way, shooting some workers, including a security guard. The victims were subsequently taken to hospital for medical treatment.
During his arrest at his office in Polokwane, one firearm was recovered, according to Police Spokesperson, Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe.