Malema caught in a lie

2010-03-01 00:00

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema could be facing a defamtion suit, after he claimed a City Press journalist“forged” his signature on documents referred to in a report linking him to a company that raked in millions of rands in government tenders.

After making his claim, he failed to clarify if he intended to sue.

City Press reported yesterday that it had seen papers last week showing that Malema owns 70% of SGL Engineering Projects and that he signed on as director, signed to pass power of attorney to his business partner and signed a third time to take up his majority shareholding in May 2009.

SGL is reported to have received government tenders worth over R140 million from local governments in Limpopo province.

Malema claimed he deregistered from the company directorship soon after being elected ANCYL president in 2008.

Speaking at an ANCYL rally in Durban yesterday, Malema said the journalist forged his signature because people don’t want him to lead the youth league.

“All these [negative] reports are meant to demoralise the youth. They want us to defocus [sic]. We were not made by newspapers and we will not be destroyed by them. We are determined to fight; we are products of people from the squatter camps,” Malema said.

Youth league national spokesman Floyd Shivambu was not available yesterday to clarify whether Malema will take any legal action against the City Press journalist. He did not respond to calls and messages left for him.

City Press editor Ferial Haffejee denied any signature was forged. She said the paper has the actual document that was lodged with the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Organisation (Cipro). “The onus of proof lies with Mr Malema, who spent the week giving blanket denials, without providing any proof.”

She said Malema’s comment is defamatory of her and her journalists and she will definitely be seeking legal advice, especially since City Press gave Malema space on page two of yesterday’s paper to state his case, and offered to e-mail the documents or allow him to inspect them at the newspaper’s office, as proof that the signatures were not forged.

Malema likened the negative reports he is getting to those received by the late ANCYL president Peter Mokaba.

“This is what they [media] wrote against Mokaba. Even long after his death they are still haunting him. They said he was killed by Aids and that he was an apartheid spy. No one under the command of Mokaba was killed or arrested by the apartheid regime.

“We are being baptised with fire. We are more than determined. We are inspired by the spirit of the ANC ancestors,” Malema said.

He challenged President Jacob Zuma’s government to arrest him if he has done anything wrong.

“If I have done anything wrong, this Jacob Zuma government has got the right to arrest me. I must be investigated, arrested and be procecuted. I will never steal from the poor”, because he and other ANCYL leaders are “children of those who suffered under apartheid”.

Malema said the ANCYL will intensify the controversial campaign to nationalise the mines and that plans are under way to campaign for the nationalisation of banks and other industries monopolised by the “white man”.

“We must ensure that we change the lives of the poor. The white man is refusing to surrender the economy so that we can change the lives of the poor. The only way to reclaim the economical [sic] freedom is to take over the mines and hand them over to the people to decide what to do with them. South Africans must benefit from the minerals of the country,” he said.

“Former president Nelson Mandela said let there be freedom in our lifetime and he achieved that goal. Now we, the youth, are saying let there be economical freedom in our lifetime and we will succeed. Whether the capital likes it or not, the mines will be nationalised.”

For a change, Malema, who has been involved in public spats with members of the tripartite alliance, was conciliatory towards them yesterday.

Instead he called for a strong and united alliance and said contradictions within the alliance are not rational.

“For as long as we live, there will be contradictions.Whether there are contradictions, the ANC must emerge victorious,” he said.

He encouraged the youth to participate when the time comes for the appointment of candidates for positions as councillors in the local government elections next year.

“We say, ‘don’t elect people ridden with self-enrichment ideas. Appoint councillors who are prepared to wake up at 2 o’clock in the morning and attend to the complaints of the people.”

Malema accused the media of mountaing an anti-ANC campaign that is doomed to fail.

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