26 September 2012

South Africa: Malema Granted Bail

Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Julius Malema in the Polokwane Regional Court after he handed himself over to the Polokwane police on Wednesday morning before his court appearance.

Polokwane — Expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema was granted bail of R10,000 by the Polokwane Regional Court on Wednesday.

Malema was officially charged with money-laundering, for allegedly "receiving proceeds from unlawful activities".

The affidavit he made in support of his application for bail was not read out in court. The case was postponed to November 30.

Malema appeared with his business partner and co-accused Selbie Manthatha.

An affidavit by Manthatha was read to the court by his counsel. It detailed his family life, his business and his assets.

Before Malema's affidavit could be read, the court adjourned for five minutes.

When the case reconvened, bail was immediately granted to both of them.

Hawks' spokesman McIntosh Polela said the charge against Malema should not be taken lightly.

"Money-laundering is not a frivolous charge, and it can incur a sentence of 15 years."

He said there had been a lot of speculation in the media of more charges being brought against Malema, but this was not true.

Polela would not comment on the trial, and said he would prefer the case to be allowed to run its course.

Supporters clung to the gates outside the court waiting for feedback on the decision about Malema's bail.

Hearing that it had been granted, they broke into song and dance.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said no incidents of violence were reported.

"The crowd is very orderly and I hope it will remain smooth like this throughout the day."

The crowd outside had swelled to nearly 1000 people in anticipation of an address by Malema.

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