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Magaqa: Malema arrest warrant orchestrated by cowards

Faranaaz Parker, Sapa

Afriforum has welcomed the warrant while Magaqa is confident the charges against Malema won't stick - especially with a hot shot lawyer on his side.

Expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema addresses the media with suspended ANCYL Secretary General Sindiso Magaqa. (Veli Nhlapo, Gallo)

Expelled ANC Youth League secretary general Sindiso Magaqa on Saturday told the M&G that the imminent arrest of Julius Malema is "part of an orchestrated campaign, by those who lack the political coherence to engage on political issues, to tarnish the image of the [youth league] president."

Magaqa said that Malema and his associates had been expecting the arrest. 

"They resort to dirty tricks because they're cowards," he said.

"It was not a surprise for us because we knew there is an orchestrated campaign that is being run in government to arrest the president of the ANC youth league," he said.

"You will have noticed that after the Marikana issue, this thing of arrest has popped out because people were very aggrieved that [Malema] emerged as a leader who can go and listen to the people, and people have responded to his call for a mining revolution so we can share the economy of this country," said Magaqa.

"We knew when we touched the nerves of the institution in power now, of the establishment, they were bound to respond."

Magaqa said the threat of arrest had not cowed Malema. "These actions by the government give us more strength. We are more determined," he said.

"The youth of South Africa will rebel," he said. "We are ready to fight fire with fire."

Magaqa said neither he nor Malema had seen the charges but added that "whatever charges come we will go to the court". In the meanwhile, it was business as usual.

Plundering the state
On the other side of the coin, civil rights organisation, AfriForum, that laid a charge of corruption with the South African Police Service (SAPS) against Julius Malema on July 24 2012, has welcomed the news that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Malema on these charges.

Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, congratulated the Hawks, as well as AfriForum's own investigation unit, on the professional way in which they conducted their respective investigations against Malema, resulting in this warrant being issued.

AfriForum's charge against Malema was made in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Act 12 of 2004) and laid at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria.  This charge concerned the fact that Malema allegedly used the Ratanang Family Trust, of which he is the sole trustee, as a vehicle for obtaining compensation from business people in exchange for his assistance to ensure that government tenders were granted to them.

According to Kriel, the issuing of the warrant sends a very clear message to all leaders that no-one is above the law.  "Malema made a serious error in judgement by thinking that he is untouchable," Kriel said.

Kriel stated that the fact that someone like Malema, who claims to represent the poor, according to the findings of the investigations against him, in fact helped to plunder the state coffers to enrich himself at the cost of service delivery to the poor, is a disgrace.

Hotshot lawyer
On Friday the City Press newspaper reported that Malema's lawyer, Nicqui Galaktiou confirmed that an arrest warrant has been issued for him.

The paper reported that Malema faced charges of money laundering, corruption and fraud relating to his Ratanang Family Trust and its shareholding in On-Point Engineering, a company that allegedly made millions from Limpopo government tenders.

The Star newspaper has revealed that Galaktiou had previously and successfully defended among others Gijima, SA business person Robert Gumede and former Zambian president Rupiah Banda's son, Henry Banda.

She is a director at Brian Kahn Incorporated Attorneys.

She has 12-years experience in motion and trial work and disputing resolution matters and is head of the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department.

Galaktiou is also a member of the International Bar Association.

Malema was expected to appear in a Polokwane court next week after a warrant was issued for his arrest. – Sapa.


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