Mail and Guardian
Malema corruption court case postponed
18 NOV 2013 10:47STAFF REPORTER, SAPA
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema’s corruption case has been postponed and will be heard only in September 2014.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema will be able to contest South Africa’s 2014 general elections without having to answer to allegations of corruption against him.
On Monday, the case of fraud against him and four others was postponed in the high court in Polokwane until September 2014.
But he will make representations to the court next Thursday and Friday about why the fraud charges against him should be dropped.
Malema and his business associates – Kagisho Dichabe, Lesiba Gwangwa, Helen Moreroa and Makgetsi Manthata – were accused of making nearly R4-million from corrupt activities.
Malema is out on bail of R10 000 and faces charges of fraud, corruption, money-laundering and racketeering, while the other four are out on bail of R40 000 each.
The state alleges Malema and the others misrepresented themselves to the Limpopo roads and transport department, leading to a R52-million contract being awarded to On-Point Engineering.
According to court papers, Malema had business ties with Gwangwa, a director of On-Point Engineering. Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust was an indirect shareholder in On-Point.
The department paid the company R43-million. According to the charge sheet, Malema substantially benefited from this payment, using it to buy a farm and a Mercedes-Benz.
Before 10am, Malema arrived at court after apparently writing a University of South Africa examination.
Supporters and members of the EFF gathered outside the court ahead of the trial. Clad in red, members of the party chanted anti-government slogans and moved from one street corner to another. Minibus taxis were continually dropping off more supporters.
Meanwhile, there was confusion as the media was at first told they were barred from the trial, but were later allowed into the court room.
“We sincerely apologise for the miscommunication around the media access to court proceedings … ” justice department spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said on Monday on his Facebook wall.
“The matter has now been resolved and court reporters will now be allowed to attend court proceedings.”
Earlier, media were barred from entering the courtroom where the former ANC Youth League leader was due to appear. – Additional reporting by Sapa