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Malema trial postponed until 2015

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EFF leader Julius Malema has been given another year in Parliament after the High Court in Polokwane postponed his corruption case to August next year.

The case against the former ANC Youth League president and his co-accused was postponed to August 3, 2015, on Tuesday because not all counsel were available.

Malema, On-Point Engineering directors Lesiba Gwangwa and Kagisho Dichabe and the two companies, On-Point Engineering and Gwama Properties, face charges of racketeering and 52 other counts, including fraud.

In March, corruption charges against Malema’s business associates –Selbie Manthatha, his wife Helen Moreroa and his brother Makgetsi Manthatha — were dropped.

The two brothers and Moreroa were initially charged with Malema, Gwangwa and Dichabe in September 2012. They were accused of misrepresenting themselves to the Limpopo roads and transport department, leading to a R52 million contract being awarded to On-Point Engineering.

It is alleged in court papers that Malema had business ties with Gwangwa, and that Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust was an indirect shareholder in On-Point.

The State alleges Malema used the tender payment to On-Point to buy a farm and a Mercedes-Benz.

After his appearance, Malema told his supporters he was ready to stand trial.

“I tried to plead with them that I should be separated… and tried alone. If others are not ready I am, the State must bring this case closer.”

Malema said he had nothing to hide.

“We have nothing to fear. We want this case to be held as in yesterday because we have nothing to hide. If they had a case they would have trialled (sic) us long ago.”

Malema said his lawyer had asked the judge for the case to be heard sooner, but was told there was no earlier date.

Malema accused Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo of interfering in matters which involved the Economic Freedom Fighters.

He named a few cases including his own, and warned Mlambo that he would write to the Judicial Service Commission regarding his “conduct”.

“They must never think we don’t know what they up to. The State is against us… but don’t be scared, we will overcome.”

Malema criticised the African National Congress and President Jacob Zuma, saying the ruling party was no longer relevant.

“My ambition is to show that there is life outside the ANC. They try by all means to isolate you and make sure you become irrelevant. We want to challenge the ANC and show society that the ANC has become irrelevant.” SAPA

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