Malema business associates acquitted

2014-03-27 08:38
Julius Malema (File, AFP)

Julius Malema (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - Three of EFF leader Julius Malema's business associates have been acquitted on corruption charges in the Mokopane Regional Court, The Star reported on Thursday.

"The court dismissed the case on the basis that the evidence presented by the State could not sustain the charges," said defence lawyer Isaac Raphele, for the accused.

"Therefore there was nothing for the accused to answer to. We told their witnesses in court that they were hired guns, not professional witnesses."

The State alleged 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.

Selbie Manthata, his wife Helen Moreroa and his brother Makgetsi Manthatha were acquitted on Wednesday.

They were arrested and charged together with Malema in September 2012.

Malema, On-Point directors Kagisho Dichabe, Lesiba Gwangwa, and the Manthata family were charged with corruption, fraud, money-laundering, and racketeering. It was unclear if the charges against Dichabe and Gwangwa still existed.

It was alleged in court papers that Malema had business ties with Gwangwa, and that Malema's Ratanang Family Trust was an indirect shareholder in On-Point.

The State alleged that Malema substantially benefited from the tender payment to On-Point, using it to buy a farm and a Mercedes-Benz.

Malema told the newspaper that in light of the acquittal of his associates, the charges against him should be dropped.


- SAPA
Read more on:    eff  |  julius malema  |  polokwane  |  corruption  |  politics  |  tenders
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