Malema fears trial's effect on new party

2013-06-20 17:27
Julius Malema (Picture: AP)

Julius Malema (Picture: AP)

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Polokwane - Expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema fears the delay in setting a trial date for his case could jeopardise the launch of his new political party, the Polokwane Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday.

Malema told the court it was difficult for him to find people who could fund his party, and also to get voters.

He said this was because no one wanted to be associated with a leader who was facing a jail sentence.

"The sooner this case is finished, the better. I am in the process of forming a [political] party," he said.

Malema blamed President Jacob Zuma for some of his troubles.

"It becomes impossible to convince people to join the party. President Zuma has done everything to make sure that I lost everything and block whoever is linked with Malema," he told the court.

"We tried farming. They come and take away everything."

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.

On Thursday, the court was expected to transfer the matter to the high court and to set a date for the trial.

Malema told the court life had not been easy for him since his expulsion from the ruling party.

"It has been very difficult. I depend on generosity. It is not donation. If I say donation, I will be in trouble with the taxman," he said.

His co-accused are his business associates Kagisho Dichabe, Lesiba Gwangwa, Helen Moreroa, and Makgetsi Manthata, who are out on bail of R40 000 each.

Trial date

The State and the defence teams argued for and against the matter being postponed on Thursday.

The court was expected to transfer the matter to the high court and set a trial date.

The State alleges that 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.

Malema allegedly did this knowing the money formed part of the proceeds of crime.

All five have proclaimed their innocence.

The case has been postponed until Friday.

Read more on:    on-point engineering  |  ancyl  |  julius malema  |  lesiba gwangwa  |  jacob zuma  |  polokwane  |  corruption  |  elections 2014  |  politics

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