Embattled former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s lawyers have told curators that Malema did not intend fighting the contempt of court application brought against him.
City Press understands that Malema’s lawyers approached court-appointed curators – Cloete Murray from the Sechaba Trust and Aviwe Ndyamara from the Tshwane Trust Company – on Monday night with the promise that Malema would make a full disclosure of his assets in return for having the matter struck off the court roll.
This was confirmed by two people close to the investigation into Malema.
The curators’ contempt of court application was meant to be heard at the North Gauteng High Court yesterday, but the matter was struck off the roll after Malema promised to disclose all his assets.
Malema was accused of hiding some of his valuables from auctioneers before his Sandton and Limpopo assets went under the hammer two months ago.
The contempt of court application could, however, be back on the court roll if curators believe he has not accurately and truthfully declared his assets to them within the next few days.
In a statement, Ndyamara and Murray said: “Depending on our investigations, the application might be re-enrolled at a later stage.”
Malema owes R16.1m to the SA Revenue Service for unpaid income tax.
Said one of two sources who confirmed the agreement: “The curators are totally independent and are acting on behalf of his creditors – of which SARS is just one of several.
“Bringing such an action of contempt charges is quite expensive, and the costs would come off the estate under curatorship. It would thus make sense for the curators to try and save money.
“The curators were approached by his lawyers last night (Monday) and told that in fact he would not fight them, and would give a full and accurate list of his assets voluntarily.
“The curators decided to accept this offer. I think he has been given a few extra days,” said one of two sources who confirmed the agreement.
SARS spokesperson Marika Muller declined to comment on the application and said “the legal processes must be allowed to run their course”.
Malema’s settlement offer, believed to be R4 million, was turned down by SARS and his Limpopo farm, worth R4 million has already been seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit.
Malema also faces charges of fraud and racketeering related to the irregular awarding of a R52-million tender to On-Point Engineers in Limpopo.
Should Malema be found guilty of being in contempt of court, if he doesn’t make a full declaration of assets, he could be slapped with a R500 000 fine or spend time behind bars.
Malema’s lawyer, Tumi Mokoena, had this morning not responded to requests for comment sent to him yesterday.