Julius Malema unimpressed with 11-month trial delay

2014-09-30 14:22

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Julius Malema says his lawyers are ready to go ahead with his trial – and he wants to appear alone because his co-accused’s lawyers are not able to agree on a date.

The Economic Freedom Fighters leader said after a brief appearance in the Polokwane Magistrates’ Court today that there was no choice but to concur with other defence teams after the judge said there was no earlier date available for a separate trial for Malema.

He criticised the state’s lawyers for not bothering to oppose the postponement of the trial until next August. He claimed there had been no opposition because there was no case against him.

“If the state wanted the matter to be heard why did they not oppose the postponement?” he asked.

Three of his former co-accused – Selby Manthata, his wife Helen Moreroa and his brother Makgetsi Manthata – have already been acquitted in a separate trial.

“The court said there was no evidence [in that trial]. The state failed to prove its case,” Malema said. “Once you can’t find Manthata guilty you won’t be able to find Malema guilty with the same witnesses.”

But he insists he’s ready for his case to be heard “so that we can close this chapter”.

“We wanted this case to be heard as soon as yesterday because we have nothing to fear. If they had a case against us they would have tried us a long time ago,” Malema said. “I want them to bring this case as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, Malema’s aunt Nurse said the protracted case was weighing heavily on his family. She jumped to her feet after Judge Ephraim Makgoba had left the courtroom and said with great disappointment: “Why, but why is this not coming to an end?”

She said the case was also taking a toll on Malema’s elderly grandmother Sarah, whom she said was “not too well”.

“The whole family is tired of this case, which won’t come to an end. What is it that they really want from this boy of ours?” she said.

“[Malema] did not kill anyone. He did not steal from anyone.”

“If the charges are real then they must prove their case. Politics is at play here and my family is going through strain. This must come to an end so we can go on with our lives,” she said.

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