Malema seeks to stop Zuma re-election
SHORTLY AFTER being charged with money laundering yesterday, South Africa’s most controversial politician, Julius Malema, called on his supporters to ensure President Jacob Zuma is not re-elected at the ANC’s national conference.
Addressing hundreds of supporters outside the Polokwane Regional Court after a brief hearing in which he secured 10,000 rand (€945) bail, the firebrand leader dismissed the charge brought against him saying it was only a schedule-one offence, and not serious.
He is due in court on November 30th next.
“We must make sure Jacob Zuma [South Africa’s current president] does not become president of the ANC. Zuma has 700 charges against him. I only have one,” he told his supporters in reference to corruption charges the president faced in the past.
Mr Malema was officially charged with money laundering for allegedly “receiving proceeds from unlawful activities”.
But speculation had been rife he was about to be accused of a variety of different offences given four of his business associates were charged with fraud, corruption and money laundering on Monday. Those charges related to a tender awarded illegally by Limpopo province’s department of roads and transport to the company On-Point Engineers.
It is alleged On-Point paid hundreds of thousands of euro into Mr Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust, one of the company’s shareholders.
Mr Malema maintained his innocence during his address and promised to answer all questions during the coming court case, as he maintained he had nothing to hide. “I’m not part of any criminal activities . . . Today they [the prosecutors] proved it. They do not have a case of corruption against me, of fraud against me.”
However, police spokesperson McIntosh Polela said Mr Malema’s dismissal of the money laundering charge was unwise.
“Money laundering is not a frivolous charge, and it can incur a sentence of 15 years,” he warned.