State calls for warrant of arrest for Malema co-accused

2015-08-04 11:15
Julius Malema arrives at court (Naledi Shange, News24)

Julius Malema arrives at court (Naledi Shange, News24)

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Polokwane - The State on Tuesday requested that the High Court in Polokwane issue a warrant of arrest for Kagisho Dichabe, one of Julius Malema's co-accused who was absent from court, reportedly due to an illness.

"The accused is absent without leave of the court.... He is not here but he was not granted leave to not be here," said prosecutor Andrew Laka.

Laka said the warrant should be provisionally suspended until August 24, when Dichabe was expected to be out of hospital.

Dichabe's lawyer, Radikgokong Nkhahle, had on Monday told the court that his client was in hospital. A medical certificate was then handed to the court.

He said he did not oppose the issuing of the warrant if his client failed to appear in court when expected to.

Malema and his co-accused, On-Point Engineering directors Kagisho Dichabe and Lesiba Gwangwa are facing charges of racketeering, fraud, corruption and money-laundering.

According to court papers, Malema allegedly had business ties with Gwangwa. Malema's Ratanang Family Trust is an indirect shareholder in On-Point Engineering.

The State alleges that Malema and his co-accused misrepresented themselves to the Limpopo roads and transport department, leading to a R52 million contract being awarded to On-Point Engineering.

It was alleged that Malema used some of the money to buy a farm and a Mercedes-Benz.

All three are out on bail.

The court was expected to rule on whether the matter would continue without Dichabe, which Malema said he would prefer.

"Let me have my day in court. Let me speak for myself. Let my side of the story be heard... I'm not scared," Malema told his supporters outside the court on Monday.

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