Strong police presence ahead of Malema court appearance

2013-06-20 08:25

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Police vehicles gathered around the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court this morning ahead of a case involving expelled ANCYL leader Julius Malema and four others.

Around 7.15am, two police Nyalas and at least 10 police cars were parked in the vicinity of the court, where the five are set to appear on charges including fraud and racketeering.

Traffic was affected on Landros Mare and Bodenstein Streets outside the court, but the roads were not completely closed.

One of the Nyalas was carrying a roll of barbed wire.

Later today, the court is expected to set a High Court date for the trial.

The case is being heard in the high court building, because the magistrate’s court was gutted by fire last year.

Malema is accused of making nearly R4 million from corrupt activities. He is out on bail of R10 000 and faces charges of fraud, corruption, money-laundering, and racketeering.

His co-accused are his business associates Kagisho Dichabe, Lesiba Gwangwa, Helen Moreroa, and Makgetsi Manthata, who are out on bail of R40 000 each.

The State alleges they 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 multi-million rand farm and a Mercedes-Benz.

Malema allegedly did this knowing that the money formed part of the proceeds of crime.

All five have proclaimed their innocence.

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