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EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla
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A functioning, competent police service that executed its duties without fear or favour would have arrested Julius Malema the day after he fired an assault rifle at an EFF rally, writes Adriaan
months after EFF leader Julius Malema illegally fired an assault rifle from the
stage of an EFF rally in the Eastern Cape, he is yet to be arrested or charged.
years after City Press revealed how
an engineering firm partly owned by Malema's family trust was looting Limpopo's
public finances, Malema is yet to face trial for corruption, money-laundering
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) told News24's Mandy Wiener last week that
they were still waiting for the police to finalise their investigations into
both cases, one can legitimately ask whether the authorities are afraid to prosecute
Malema, present company included, have found themselves insulted, abused and
threatened, even with death, in public and on social media if you dared
question the self-styled "commander in chief" of South Africa's
third-largest political party.
prosecutors and investigating officers in charge of the shooting and On-Point
Engineering cases so scared of an EFF-sponsored backlash that they would rather
"investigate" these cases indefinitely than exercise their
decade, the NPA and the Hawks told us they were still "investigating"
the Bosasa corruption case, when it is clear now they were just buying time to
avoid acting against what was effectively an ANC front company.
How is it
possible that the SAPS is nine months later still performing a "sound
analysis" of the shooting incident before a decision to charge Malema or
not can be taken?
functioning, competent police service that executed its duties without fear or
favour would have arrested Malema the day after the shooting incident. The
Firearms Control Act is clear: it's a criminal offence to discharge a firearm
in any public space.
indecision on the On-Point matter is just as mind-boggling. It cannot be true
that the NPA is still waiting for outstanding information from the cops.
already decided to charge Malema, his friend and owner of On-Point Lesiba
Gwangwa and others in 2012 for allegedly running a racket in Limpopo by
outsourcing state infrastructure functions to their company.
Ratanang Family Trust is a shareholder in On-Point and he used money from these
state projects to finance his bling lifestyle, then as ANC Youth League leader.
revealed in 2010 that roads and bridges that were supposed to be fixed by
On-Point were dilapidated and in a terrible state. At the same time, On-Point
received a R50m tender from the Limpopo roads department to outsource key
functions to something called a "project management unit".
would then sign back-to-back agreements with tenderers, that gave On-Point a
cut in contracts they awarded on behalf of the state. This falls squarely into
the definition of what we now call state capture.
information has been in the public domain for at least seven years and the
state had a finalised charge sheet when it went to court.
In 2015, the
case against Malema, Gwangwa and their co-accused was struck from the roll
because of delays by the prosecution. One accused was sick and the NPA declined
to proceed with the case in his absence.
applied to have his case tried separately from the rest, but this was refused
by the NPA, which led to the judge removing the case from the court role.
This was a
temporary measure and the NPA always planned to re-enrol the matter when the
time was right.
is not an acquittal, it is not a verdict as the judge stipulated. The matter
was just struck off the roll… possibilities are that the Directorate of Public
Prosecutions (DPP) with jurisdiction can be approached to issue a certificate
to reinstate the matter," NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku told journalists
at the time.
later, the NPA says it is still waiting for information from the Hawks.
reports, Advocate Shamila Batohi, the new NPA head, has been cracking the whip,
demanding answers on delays in prominent corruption matters. Hopefully the
On-Point case is one of them.
know that justice must not only be done, but also be seen to be done.
Unfortunately, the inaction in the Malema cases creates the impression that he
is above the law.
- Basson is editor-in-chief of News24.
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