AfriForum pushes NPA to decide on Malema prosecutions

accreditation
Adv. Gerrie Nel, AfriForum's head of private prosecution unit. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)
Adv. Gerrie Nel, AfriForum's head of private prosecution unit. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

Lobby group AfriForum has vowed to go to court to force the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to decide on the prosecution of EFF leader Julius Malema in three different criminal cases, including the On-Point Engineering tender scandal.

In a media briefing on Wednesday morning, head of AfriForum's private prosecution unit, advocate Gerrie Nel said the NPA has continuously delayed decisions in the three matters, leaving them with little choice but to institute legal proceedings.

On-Point

In the On-Point Engineering tender scandal, it is alleged that the leader of the red berets benefited from an irregularly awarded tender to the tune of R52m.

The case was struck off the roll after one of his co-accused fell ill in 2015 and hasn't been back in court since. News24 previously reported that the NPA would make a decision in the matter by August 2018.

Assault of police officer

The second case relates to the alleged assault of a police officer, by Malema, during the funeral of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 2018.

According to AfriForum, the fully clothed colonel was assaulted by Malema and EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and the incident was caught on CCTV.

READ: No decision to prosecute Malema yet - NPA

Nel added that the assault took place in public in full view of SANDF generals.

"The senior policeman opened a case [with] the police but it received no police attention until AfriForum's private prosecution unit enquired about the investigation in January 2019," Nel said. 

He said that at one point, the docket even mysteriously disappeared.

According to AfriForum, the docket has since been sent to the NPA.

"I wouldn't do that," Malema previously told News24 when he was asked about claims that he had been involved in a scuffle with a policeman after he was denied entry to the park for the burial.

"I never pushed anyone; I have got protectors… our car had full accreditation and I had full accreditation."

Discharging assault rifle in public

The third matter relates to Malema's discharge of what appeared to be an automatic assault rifle at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane, outside East London, at the EFF's 5th anniversary celebration in 2018. 

READ: Police investigating Malema rifle shooting incident

At the time of the incident, Ndlozi denied that a real firearm had been used.

However, on Wednesday, AfriForum's head of community safety, Ian Cameron, said the investigating officer in the case confirmed to the lobby group thhat ballistic results had been concluded, indicating that a real weapon had been fired.

All matters before the NPA

Nel said that all three dockets were handed to the NPA for a decision and added that AfriForum was assisting the complainant in the assault matter.

AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel is the complainant in the On-Point case and another employee of the lobby group opened the case against Malema for the shooting incident in the Eastern Cape.

"If the NPA is not willing or not able to prosecute Malema for these crimes, AfriForum's private prosecution unit will gladly take over the reins," Kriel said.

"It is inconceivable that an individual like Malema gets away with so many breaches of law because both the police and the NPA are failing in their duty to teach him a lesson. When it seems that certain individuals are considered to be above the law, it creates a dangerous precedent of lawlessness."

Where the cases are 

NPA spokesperson Tsepo Ndwalaza told News24 he would provide an update via email about the case relating to the firearm discharge but News24 did not receive it by the time of publication.

News24 also made several attempts to get hold of the NPA in Limpopo for comment on the On-Point case, which so far has proved unsuccessful.

Police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini told News24 that the assault matter was still under investigation. Police were taking outstanding statements and will return the docket to the DPP for a decision.

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