Malema stands by forged-signature allegation
Signatures by African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) president Julius Malema on a company registration record were forgeries, his attorney, Tumi Mokwena, maintained on Tuesday.
He was reacting to the City Press‘s report on Sunday that Malema lied when he told the media that he held no shares in a company that had won lucrative contracts in Limpopo.
City Press reported that, according to a company registration record, Malema owns 70% of shares in SGL Engineering Projects, which was awarded multimillion-rand government tenders.
He had also signed as a director, signed to pass power of attorney to his business partner and signed a third time to take up his majority shareholding.
“We wish to categorically state that the signature appearing thereon is not that of Mr Malema,” Mokwena said in Johannesburg.
At a 2011 local government election rally on Sunday, Malema denied that the signature was his, alleging it was forged by a reporter to portray him as a bad person.
City Press editor-in-chief Ferial Haffajee said the paper took the allegations seriously and challenged Malema to take legal action if he truly believed the paper had faked his signature.
“We have instructions to source the origin of the alleged form [documents referred to by City Press],” Mokwena said.
He would lead the investigation into the forged documents.
“Mr Malema will not know whose hand penned down the signature and it is a matter that we will follow and get an answer to,” Mokwena said.
Mokwena conceded that Malema was registered as a director of the company when it was converted from a close corporation to a private company, but said Malema was not aware of the directorship.
“Mr Malema has maintained that he was not aware of the directorship in this company, which is said to have commenced on May 6 2009,” said Mokwena.
“Immediately after reports of his directorship, Mr Malema gave instructions, which are in progress, to verify whether he is indeed still registered, and then take up the matter with the confirmed company [SGL].”
Mokwena said he was talking to the officials at SGL to investigate the matter.
“[We] will be able to give a report shortly of the outcomes of our investigation.”
Whether Malema would take the matter up with the police depended on the outcome of the investigation.
Asked whether the company itself should be probed, Mokwena said Malema had not “made any suggestions of fraud” at this stage.
Mokwena could not provide proof of Malema’s resignation from SGL, saying this was Malema’s “prerogative” and that he had not received instructions from him to do so.
ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said the briefing was aimed at putting to rest and “clarifying” all questions about Malema’s involvement with SGL.
However, he called many questions aimed at gaining clarity “opportunistic”. “I think you are very ridiculous,” he responded to a question.
At a press briefing last week, Malema claimed that media reports on his “lavish lifestyle” were part of a conspiracy to discredit him and the youth league.
He believed this emanated from the ANCYL’s push to nationalise the country’s mines.
He blamed “the owners of the means of production” and factions of the left who were threatened by the league’s failure to support their preferred candidates in the ANC 2012 election.—Sapa