15 March 2019

South Africa: NPA Still Waiting for Investigators in Two Malema Cases

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says decisions have not yet been taken on whether to prosecute Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema for two separate criminal matters.

The first involves the alleged improper awarding of government tenders in Limpopo to On-Point Engineering, while the second relates to an incident in which Malema allegedly discharged a firearm at a rally in the Eastern Cape.

On-Point Engineering made headlines in 2012 for irregular tenders awarded in Limpopo.

During her tenure, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Malema improperly benefited from the Limpopo government contract and that it "constituted maladministration".

Malema initially faced charges in relation to a R52m contract awarded to On-Point.

The State previously alleged that Malema substantially benefited from the tender payment to On-Point, using it to buy a farm and a Mercedes Benz.

Lobby group AfriForum announced in April last year that Malema and his co-accused would be privately prosecuted for fraud and corruption should the NPA not reinstate the case. It was struck off the court roll in 2015.

However, the NPA has refused to issue a 'nolle prosequi' certificate, enabling it to proceed.

The NPA has said it would deal with the matter and initially undertook it would make a decision on or before August 18 last year - but that is yet to happen.

It's understood prosecutors are still waiting for Hawks investigators to finalise their probe before making a decision on whether to prosecute.

Sound report still outstanding

Meanwhile, the NPA in the Eastern Cape says police are still investigating an incident in which Malema was captured on camera, seemingly discharging what appeared to be an automatic assault rifle. The incident occurred at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane, outside East London at the EFF's 5th anniversary celebrations last year.

At the time, EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi denied that a real firearm had been used.

Lobby group AfriForum also laid criminal charges against Malema in relation to this incident.

AfriForum's media team did not respond to several requests for comment in response to the NPA's delays.

NPA spokesperson in the Eastern Cape Tsepo Ndwalaza says investigations are still continuing.

"Please be informed that, according to the prosecutor dealing with the matter in East London, the only outstanding piece of information is the sound analysis report. After she gets that report will the decision be made whether to prosecute or not," says Ndwalaza.

National spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku adds that both matters are receiving the necessary attention.

"There are outstanding issues that have to be addressed by the investigating officers before a decision is made by the respective Directors of Public Prosecutions," says Mfaku.


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