1 minute read
30 Sep 2014
10:13 am

EFF MPs in court to give Julius Malema support

Economic Freedom Fighters MPs Floyd Shivambu and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi arrived at the Polokwane High Court on Tuesday ahead of their leader Julius Malema's court appearance.

FILE PICTURE: Floyd Shivambu from the Economic Freedom Fighters. Picture: Christine Vermooten

EFF MPs Godrick Gardee and Mpho Ramakatsa were also attending the trial.

The streets around the court were barricaded with barbed wire.

Police monitored the streets and entrance to the court.

Police helicopters circled above.

A street up from the court, next to the police station, a stage had been erected where Malema was expected to address his supporters after his appearance.

EFF supporters held a night vigil for their leader at the Nirvana Hall in Polokwane on Monday night.

They marched to the police station from the hall on Tuesday morning. More than 100 supporters stood whistling and dancing.

Malema and his two co-accused On-Point Engineering directors Lesiba Gwangwa and Kagisho Dichabe face charges of racketeering and 52 other counts, including fraud.

In March, corruption charges against Malema’s business associates – Selbie Manthatha, his wife Helen Moreroa and his brother Makgetsi Manthatha – were discharged.

The two brothers and Moreroa were initially charged with Malema, Gwangwa and Dichabe in September 2012.

They were accused of misrepresenting themselves to the Limpopo roads and transport department, leading to a R52 million contract being awarded to On-Point Engineering.

It was alleged in court papers that Malema, who was expelled from the African National Congress Youth League before starting the EFF, had business ties with Gwangwa, and that Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust was an indirect shareholder in On-Point.

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