Julius Malema gets his day in court

2014-09-30 08:38

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The corruption trial of Julius Malema, leader of the vehemently antigraft Economic Freedom Fighters, gets under way in the Polokwane Magistrates’ Court today.

Malema faces charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering, and racketeering. It is alleged that he made nearly R4 million from corrupt activities.

The EFF has been outspoken against corruption and has accused the ruling African National Congress of “chronic kleptomania” of public funds.

Yesterday, EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the party would call for President Jacob Zuma to face corruption charges and pay back public funds spent on upgrades to his homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

When the party was launched in July last year, Malema said the EFF was founded on the principle of anticorruption.

“No one found guilty of corruption ... will wear the beret,” he said, sporting a bright red EFF-branded beret.

Malema is out on R10 000 bail. His four co-accused, who are his business associates, are out on bail of R40 000 each.

The state alleges that the five 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 Lesiba Gwangwa, one of the co-accused and 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.

If Malema were convicted, he would lose his seat in Parliament.

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