Malema charges remain in place - court

2013-11-28 13:00
Julius Malema (File, AP)

Julius Malema (File, AP)

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Julius Malema in court

2013-11-28 10:30

EFF leader Julius Malema smiles as he heads into court to face charges of fraud, corruption, money-laundering, and racketeering. Watch. WATCH

Polokwane - The charges against Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema remain in force, the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane ruled on Thursday.

"I will have the matter postponed and charges are not withdrawn," Judge Ephraim Makgoba said.

"I see no prejudice on both parties in bringing this matter forward."

NPA ruling

He said the case against Malema would go ahead next year as scheduled, unless the National Prosecuting Authority decided to drop the charges against him.

"The matter can be brought forward after the director of prosecution has made a ruling by April."

Malema faces charges of fraud, corruption, money-laundering, and racketeering.

His trial will be heard from 30 September to 31 October next year.

It is alleged that he made nearly R4m from corrupt activities.

He is out on R10 000 bail. His four co-accused, who are his business associates, are out on bail of R40 000 each.

The State alleges that the five 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 Lesiba Gwangwa, one of the co-accused and 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.

Supporters

Earlier on Thursday, EFF supporters burst into song when Malema arrived in court, forcing court orderlies to try to calm them down.

Dali Mpofu, sporting a red EFF beret, red shirt and black jacket, was one of the supporters waiting near the court entrance before the former ANC Youth League leader arrived.

Mpofu is the lawyer representing the wounded and arrested Marikana mineworkers at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the shooting at the Lonmin platinum mine near Rustenburg last year, when 34 people were killed.

He recently announced he had resigned from the African National Congress to join the EFF.

Outside the court hundreds of EFF members blew vuvuzelas and some waved knobkerries as they chanted songs against President Jacob Zuma.

"Muso wa Zuma reya o menola [we will unseat Zuma's government]," they sang.

Traffic was congested, with streets around the court closed.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

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

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