Malema case heads for trial date

2013-04-23 13:12

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Expelled youth leader Julius Malema’s money laundering, corruption and racketeering case will be moved to the high court when it resumes on June 20.

Said National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Medupi Simasiku: “When we return on June 20, we will announce that the case is being moved to the high court and the trial date. As you heard for yourself, everyone is ready for trial and we are not expecting any delays.”

Malema – who this morning appeared at the Polokwane Magistrates’ Court alongside his co-accused, Lesiba Gwangwa and Kagisho Dichabe – is out on R10 000 bail.

The former ANCYL president is accused of “playing a leading role” in managing a criminal racket with Gwangwa and ­Dichabe.

At the centre of the allegations levelled against Malema’s co-accused is that their company, On-Point Engineers, benefited from a R52-million tender after misrepresenting themselves.

Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust was an indirect shareholder in On-Point.

Previously the ANC Youth League almost brought Polokwane to a standstill when Malema appeared in court.

They hosted night vigils for him and bused in hundreds of young people to support him. However, this time around things were different.

Aside from his childhood friend, Jacob Lebogo, who is also secretary of the youth league in Limpopo, and Jossie Buthane, chairperson of the ANC’s branch in Seshego, Zone 1, where Malema comes from, there were no high profile ANC officials in court.

Previously Malema had also received support from high profile politicians in the province, including former secretary Soviet Lekganyane, Human Settlements MEC Clifford Motsepe, Mopani District Municipality mayor Joshua Matlou, Capricorn District mayor Lawrence Mapoulo and Economic Development MEC Pinky Kekana.

Businessman Kenny Kunene also made a surprise appearance today. He said “it was obvious” why he was at court. “If a man attends a soccer match, there is only one reason they are there,” he said.

He refused to comment further, saying he feared the media would say he was seeking publicity.

Said Lebogo: “We are here in our personal capacity as friends and not as members of the ANC. We will continue to support him and justice will prevail. We will respect the legal processes and we have faith that justice will prevail.”

A small group of young people gathered outside the court and erupted into song when Malema left the court after his appearance.

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