‘Strike Malema case off roll’

2013-06-21 18:25

Julius Malema’s lawyer has asked the Polokwane Magistrates’ Court to strike Malema’s money laundering case from the roll or to set conditions for a reasonable trial date.

An angry Tumi Mokoena told the court the November 18 – 29 trail dates proposed by the state’s prosecution team, led by advocate Billy Moalosi, was a “thumbsuck”.

“They are seeking a further postponement. There is no chance that the trial will proceed on such a date. The state has, through the backdoor, sought for a three-month postponement which will not lead to trial. The accused must now wait for three months with no prospects of having the trial commence.

“I’m submitting before you, your worship, that these proceedings that you are being asked to preside over are still a further postponement,” he said.

Among the many reasons Mokoena gave for arguing there will be no trial in November was that co-accused Lesiba Gwangwa’s lawyer, Advocate Laurence Hodes SC, will not be available in court during those 10 days.

“What is happening here is that public funds are being wasted, the accused limited resources are being depleted and the court’s time is being abused,” he said.

The accused, he said, want an effective trial date. “What is happening here is that the court and the defence are taken on a puppet show while they (the state) continue conducting an investigation.”

Mokoena insisted the state was still investigating the case, despite numerous assurances from Moalosi that he had been ready for trial as early as November 30 last year.

Mokoena told the court that just a few days ago investigating officers had tried to force an SGL Engineering driver to sign a pre-written affidavit to prove the Mercedes Benz Viano Malema used was from the proceeds of crime.

Earlier, Gwangwa’s lawyer, Advocate Michele Gioia, had accepted the November trial date, but said he would like to place certain issues on record.

“The dates chosen are not suitable for us but we will deal with that.”

The state, he also said, was wasting the court’s time, his time and the accused’s resources. It was a pity that the law doesn’t allow for costs to be claimed against the state, he said, adding that they would have claimed costs for yesterday.

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