Malema firearm trial: Damning revelations made by ballistics expert on fourth day of trial

Day four of the criminal prosecution of Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, for several contraventions of the Firearms Control Act in the East London Regional Court has concluded. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is finally prosecuting Malema, almost four years after the incident. This follows after continued pressure by AfriForum as well as a written letter from Adv. Gerrie Nel, head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit. AfriForum filed the charges against Malema and his bodyguard, Adriaan Snyman in 2018.

The ballistics expert Col. Mngwadeka, who is the chief forensic analyst for the Eastern Cape, testified today that he was able to link the cartridge casing found on the scene of the incident to the firearm that was handed in for ballistic tests by Snyman. Giving expert evidence on the aspects of the breechblock Mngwadeka was asked to use laymen terms in explaining. To which he responded that, “the breechblock was changed after firing and before being submitted for inspection.” This would serve as an explanation why the serial numbers on the breechblock does not match the serial number on the firearm. It would seem that a part of the firearm that was handed in for ballistic tests was apparently switched, which could potentially make it harder to link the firearm to the cartridge case that was recovered.

According to Marnus Kamfer, Legal and Risk Manager at AfriForum, today’s revelations in court were damning. “The testimony today in court by the ballistics expert has put pressure on the majority of excuses or versions of events that Malema and Snyman’s legal team has been relying on,” Kamfer says.

The case is set to continue tomorrow in the East London Regional Court.

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