NewsSouthern AfricaSouth Africa: Julius Malema, ex ANC youth league leader cuts a lonely figure

Mon,01Sep2014

Posted on Thursday, 20 June 2013 16:51

South Africa: Julius Malema, ex ANC youth league leader cuts a lonely figure

By Crystal van Vyk

Once a poster child for the ANC youth league, Julius Malema now cuts a lonely figureA year ago Julius Malema was the toast of the town.

 

He had the fancy car, bodyguards, designer outfits and an attitude to match his status as the leader of the ANC youth league.

Malema had the media following his every move and his words made headline news.

[Malema] substantially benefited from this payment, using it to buy a multi-million rand farm and a Mercedes Benz

But despite being the toast of the town, he made some enemies during this time, and a year later things could not have been more different for Malema.

The firebrand leader that ANC president Jacob Zuma once described as future presidential material of the country was expelled as the Youth League president.

His friends in high office have since left him behind, distancing themselves from Malema and both his actions and words.

He now stands accused of defrauding the state and today appeared at the Polokwane Magistrate's Court in the country's northern province of Limpopo.

Malema is accused of making nearly R4 million from corrupt activities and is out on bail of R10,000. He faces charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering, and racketeering.

The case is centred on a contract in which the Limpopo roads and transport department awarded to a company with links to Malema.

The State alleges that Malema and four others "misrepresented" themselves to the department, leading to a R52 million contract being awarded to On-Point Engineering.

According to the charge sheet, Malema "substantially benefited from this payment, using it to buy a multi-million rand farm and a Mercedes Benz".

Malema allegedly did this knowing that the money formed part of the proceeds of crime.

Malema who usually attracted throngs of supporters in court today cut a lonely figure with no supporters picketing, protesting his outside.

Nonetheless, there was still a large police presence at court and surrounding streets were cordoned off.

Undaunted, Malema took his moment in court to attack Jacob Zuma.

Malema was quoted by News24 as having accused Zuma of orchestrating a political conspiracy against him.

"All charges, it's a political conspiracy by [Zuma] and his administration," Malema told the court.

The State and the defence teams argued for and against the matter being postponed.

It is expected that the matter will be transferred to the High Court for trial.



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