EFF members gear up for Julius Malema’s trial

2013-11-10 06:00

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More than 3 000 EFF members are expected to paint Polokwane red when their leader appears in court in eight days’ time.

Malema’s supporters are expected to hold a night vigil a day before the party leader’s trial starts in the Polokwane Magistrates’ Court.

Malema last appeared in court in June after he had announced his intentions to form a new party and to challenge the ANC, his former political party, which had expelled him.

He was accompanied by few friends during his previous appearance, but this is expected to change as the firebrand faces a 10-day trial.

Malema’s supporters planned to spend the night at Cosmo Leisure Lodge outside the city on Sunday, November 17.

George Raphela, EFF Limpopo convener, said they had decided to stay there after all attempts to secure a venue in the city had failed.

“We also decided to secure a spot where we could erect a marquee in the city, but the Polokwane municipality declined our request. It has become an EFF struggle that we don’t get venues,” Raphela said.

“We’ll leave Cosmo Leisure in a motorcade driving to the court. Monday will be big and we’re hoping to maintain our presence and also hope to get permission to picket outside the court in support of (Malema),” Raphela said.

He said EFF supporters from all over the country were expected to flock to Polokwane to support their leader.

Malema is facing charges of money laundering and racketeering related to the alleged irregular awarding of a R52 million tender to On-Point ­Engineers, partly owned by Malema’s ­Ratanang Family Trust.

On-Point’s Lesiba Gwangwa, Kagisho Dichabe, Helen Moreroa and her husband, Selby Manthata, as well as the latter’s brother, Makgetsi, are Malema’s co-accused.

Meanwhile Malema, accompanied by a small group of EFF supporters, was seen at Mponegele Primary School, an IEC registration point down the road from his home in Seshego, where he will cast his vote next year.

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