Govt trying to silence me, Malema claims

2012-09-26 19:51
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - Expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema insisted on Wednesday that money-laundering charges against him were part of a plot to silence him.

"I am aware that senior government officials... have agitated law enforcement authorities to expedite my arrest and detain me as a means of trying to silence and disrupt the political activities I am involved in," he said in a statement.

"Attempts to silence our political activities and involvement will never succeed because we carry a revolutionary obligation to speak on behalf of the oppressed and downtrodden masses."

Malema said he would visit mineworkers in the North West on Thursday to pledge support for their wage protests.

"The struggle for economic freedom is in motion and no amount of suppression and intimidation will silence us," he said.

"Attempts to banish us and isolate us from the ANC have never succeeded and... [will] never succeed."

Malema was granted bail of R10 000 by the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

He was officially charged with money-laundering, for allegedly "receiving proceeds from unlawful activities".

The affidavit he made in support of his application for bail was not read out in court. The case was postponed to 30 November.

Malema said it was "conclusively irresponsible" for the State to issue a warrant of arrest and to take him to court, when it could not produce a docket to justify its charges.

"The rushing of the charging seems to be inspired by other considerations than justice," he said.

"It is very strange that some political leaders, who are compromised and insisted that my arrest be expedited, are the ones who should respond to more than 700 charges of corruption, fraud and money-laundering."

Earlier, Malema told supporters outside the court that they needed to make sure President Jacob Zuma was not re-elected at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung at the end of the year.

"We must make sure Jacob Zuma does not become [remain] president of the ANC... Remove him as a president," he said.

"Zuma has 700 charges against him. I only have one."

In his statement, Malema said the "rule of law" could not be undermined by people with political power.

"All South Africans, including Jacob Zuma, should be equal before the law," he said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    julius malema  |  jacob zuma  |  polokwane  |  politics
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