South Africa: Malema’s Fraud Trial Expected to Start

The fraud trial of Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and his co-accused is expected to start in the High Court in Polokwane on Monday.

The trial was postponed last September as some counsel were not available.

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

According to court papers, Malema allegedly had business ties with Gwangwa. Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust was 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.

Malema is out on R10 000 bail, the others on bail of R40 000 each.

EFF members held a night vigil at the Jack Botes Hall in Polokwane on Sunday night.

Speaking ahead of Malema’s appearance, Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto said there would be tight security around the court. A number of streets around the court were closed from Sunday evening.

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