Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) founder Julius Malema will be returning to court next week. His corruption trial is set to start on Monday at the Polokwane High Court.
Malema is facing charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money-laundering. He and his co-accused are currently out on bail.
In 2012, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela discovered that On-Point Engineering, a company in which Malema held shares through his Ratanang family trust, fraudulently won a R52 million tender from the Limpompo government in 2009. Malema is said to have benefitted improperly from this contract.
It is reported that the Ratanang family trust was paid R4 million from the money that the government paid to On-Point Engineering. Malema used some of that money to buy a farm, which was later confiscated by the Asset Forfeiture Unit.
Malema insists that he did nothing wrong. He believes that the charges against him are part of a political conspiracy to silence him.
On Sunday, Malema’s supporters held a night vigil at Cosmo Leisure Lodge and Conference Centre in Polokwane. Around 3 000 EFF supporters were expected to show him support. Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi told The New Age that security would be tight and the police would “monitor and patrol the area around the court”.
According to reports, the prosecution will call 60 witnesses and the trial is expected to run for two weeks, until the 29th of November.