Court dismisses Malema bid

2013-06-21 22:32
Julius Malema. Picture: AFP

Julius Malema. Picture: AFP

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Johannesburg - The Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Friday dismissed fraud-accused Julius Malema's application to have his case struck off the roll.

"The application to have the case struck off the roll is refused. The case will be heard from 18 to 29 November," magistrate Mohammed Shaik said.

Earlier, Malema's defence had asked the court to strike the case off the roll until a "reasonable" trial date was set. The State had proposed the trial take place over 10 days in November.

Malema's lawyer Tumi Mokwena said the proposed date was a sign Malema's trial would not be fair. He accused the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of not being ready to proceed with the case.

Mokwena called on James Motsoko, employed by Malema's company SGL Engineering Projects as a driver, to testify in a bid to show the court that the NPA was not ready to go ahead.

Mokwena said the NPA "manufactured" the case by writing a statement on Motsoko's behalf and demanding he sign it. The statement contains information about how the expelled ANC Youth League leader started using a Mercedes-Benz Viano after he lost his Range Rover to the SA Revenue Service.

Motsoko told the court the car was registered in his name and that he did not know Malema, leaving Shaik and the packed courtroom surprised.

Prosecutor Billy Moalusi opted not to cross-examine Motsoko and said the State was not given an opportunity to prepare a responding affidavit.

Making nearly R4m

Malema is accused of making nearly R4m 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. They are out on bail of R40 000 each.

The State alleges Malema and the others misrepresented themselves to the Limpopo roads and transport department, leading to a R52m 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 R43m. According to the charge sheet, Malema substantially benefited from this payment, using it to buy a farm and a Mercedes-Benz.

Read more on:    on-point engineering  |  julius malema  |  polokwane

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