The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Wednesday denied claims by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema of interference in his corruption case.
“The decision to prosecute all five accused, including Mr Malema, was taken on the basis of the credible evidence at our disposal,” NPA spokesperson Nathi Mncube said. “The matter is now sub judice and it is not our wish to engage with the accused person, Mr Malema, through the media.”
Following his appearance in the high court in Polokwane on Tuesday, Malema told EFF supporters that National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana used his case to save his job. He further accused Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo of interfering in EFF matters.
“[Nxasana] used our name to bargain for his job,” he said.
He said he would write to the Judicial Service Commission regarding Mlambo’s conduct. Malema claimed Nxasana wanted to drop the charges against him, but told President Jacob Zuma he would not.
In August, Zuma notified Nxasana that he was considering suspending him pending an inquiry into his fitness to hold office. Nxasana filed an urgent application in the high court in Pretoria seeking an interdict to stop Zuma from suspending him, before he had been provided with details of the allegations against him and given a chance to make further representations.
Judge Joseph Raulinga postponed his application indefinitely.
Malema’s allegations ‘dismissed with contempt’
Zuma and Nxasana met shortly after that to “to discuss various matters around the president’s intention to hold an enquiry into the NDPP’s fitness to hold office”, the presidency said at the time.
Zuma announced his decision to institute the inquiry on July 5, after reports that Nxasana had apparently not been given a security clearance because of past brushes with the law.
This included being tried for murder about 30 years ago. He was acquitted on the charge based on his version of self-defence.
Mncube on Wednesday said the NPA “dismissed with contempt” Malema’s allegations.
“The reasons for the two meetings between the president and the NDPP were necessitated by the developments around the impending inquiry into the fitness of the NDPP to hold office. The presidency has given the South African public details of the meetings.
“He [Malema] has been afforded a platform wherein he, and the state, will be given an opportunity to present evidence in support of their claims,” he said.
The trial against Malema and his co-accused was postponed on Tuesday to August 3 2015 because not all counsel were available. Malema, On-Point Engineering directors Lesiba Gwangwa and Kagisho Dichabe, and two companies, On-Point Engineering and Gwama Properties, face charges of racketeering and 52 other counts, including fraud. – Sapa