“I appreciate that you have been with me and because the leaders of the EFF have abandoned their work to come and support me,” Malema told EFF members outside the High Court, sitting in Polokwane today.
“Please don’t come from tomorrow. Let me fight this battle.”
“Let the EFF not suffer because of me.”
The trial was addjourned until tomorrow after a short session at the High Court.
Judge Billy Mothle postponed the case because one of the accused Kagiso Dichabe is off sick.
Malema told the EFF MPs that they were needed in parliament.
“You can’t abandon the mandate of 1.1 million people who voted for the EFF to come and support an individual,” the EFF leader said.
“They will expect you there when Zuma (President Jacob Zuma) comes on Thursday.
“Whether Malema is there or not, the EFF must represent us well.”
Malema lashed out at state prosecutors, accusing them of listening to political principals and not the law.
“There is nothing against me,” Malema said.
“If there was anything against me they would have tried me long time ago.
“I challenge the NPA not to oppose the seperation of trial so that my trial can start tomorrow.”
Malema, On-Point Engineers directors Lesiba Gwangwa and Dichabe and the two companies, On-Point Engineers and Gwama Properties, are facing charges of racketeering and 52 other counts, including fraud.
In March last year, corruption charges against Malema’s business associates Selby Manthatha, his wife Helen Moreroa and his brother Makgetsi Manthath, were dropped.
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 Engineers.
It is alleged in court papers Malema had business ties with Gwangwa and Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust was an indirect shareholder in On-Point.
The state alleges Malema used part of the tender payment to On-Point to buy a farm and Mercedes-Benz.
If Malema is convicted, he could face serious jail term.