Let me be persecuted for my sins - Malema

2015-08-03 12:47
EFF leader Julius Malema (News24)

EFF leader Julius Malema (News24)

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WATCH: Julius Malema arrives at court to face corruption charges

2015-08-03 11:06

Watch as EFF leader Julius Malema arrives at the the High Court in Polokwane today to stand trial for racketeering, fraud, corruption, and money-laundering. WATCH

Polokwane - The EFF's leader and graft-accused Julius Malema on Monday insisted that he wanted his day in court. 

Addressing members of his party outside the High Court in Polokwane where his case had just been postponed, Malema challenged the National Prosecuting Authority to allow his trial to start on Tuesday. 

"Let me die for my sins... Let me be persecuted for my sins," Malema said.

"Let me have my day in court. Let me speak for myself. Let my side of the story be heard... I'm not scared."

His trial was postponed after one of the accused, Kagisho Dichabe, was reported to be ill and be in hospital.

Dichabe's lawyer handed a medical certificate to the court. 

Malema however, took a swipe at the NPA, accusing it of taking direction from politicians. 

He challenged the NPA to be neutral and allow for him to be tried separately from the ailing Dichabe. 

"The NPA has been trying to get postponements and they are now using the sickness of my co-accused," said Malema. 

"I do not want any postponement," he said.

Malema said his conscience was clear. He claimed to have never stolen from anyone, adding that he had never even "stolen a pen at school". 

Scores of EFF members held a night vigil in Polokwane on Sunday night. They gathered close to the court before the proceedings started, singing and dancing and demanding that their leader be cleared of any wrongdoing. 

'Don't come tomorrow'

Malema, thanked them for their support but ordered them to go back to work on Tuesday.

"Let Julius Malema take it from here," Malema said.

"All of you, do not worry about me," he said, emphasising that this was his battle to fight and not that of the party as a whole. 

Addressing EFF members who had come to court to support him, Malema said they could not abandon their parliamentary duties for his sake. 

"You cannot abandon the mandate of 1.1 million for one person," he said. 

"I am an accused and I was accused long before the EFF [was formed]," Malema said. 

"I say don't come tomorrow, not because I don't appreciate your support, but because I know many of you go through pain to get here," he said. 

He called on continued support through prayer. 

He thanked his family and friends for their support, making special mention of his wife. 

"You got married to a man who is in trouble," Malema said with a chuckle. 

He said he is confident that he will come out victorious in the trial. 

"But rest assured, we will never lose. We will win this battle," he said. 

Malema and his co-accused, On-Point Engineering directors Kagisho Dichabe and Lesiba Gwangwa are facing charges of racketeering, fraud, corruption and money-laundering.

According to court papers, Malema allegedly had business ties with Gwangwa. Malema's Ratanang Family Trust is an indirect shareholder in On-Point Engineering.

The State alleges that Malema and his co-accused misrepresented themselves to the Limpopo roads and transport department, leading to a R52m contract being awarded to On-Point Engineering.

It was alleged that Malema used some of the money to buy a farm and a Mercedes-Benz.

All three are out on bail.

Read more on:    npa  |  eff  |  julius malema  |  polokwane  |  corruption

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