Judge Ephraim Makgoba said the case against him would go ahead next year from 30 September to 31 October, as scheduled, unless the National Prosecuting Authority decided to drop the charges against him.
The decision now lies with the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) as to whether the State will continue with the charges and prosecute Malema or drop them. Malema will have word on his case from the NDPP by April next year.
The former ANC Youth League leader faces charges of fraud, corruption, money-laundering, and racketeering. A large contingent of international and local journalists gathered outside the court.
Earlier today, hundreds of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members blew vuvuzelas and some waved knobkerries as they chanted songs against President Jacob Zuma.
“Muso wa Zuma reya o menola [we will unseat Zuma’s government],” they sang.
Traffic was gridlocked, with streets around the court closed. Malema faces charges of fraud, corruption, money-laundering, and racketeering. It is alleged that he made nearly R4 million from corrupt activities.
Malema is out on R10 000 bail. His four co-accused, who are his business associates, are out on bail of R40 000 each.
The State alleges that the five misrepresented themselves to the Limpopo roads and transport department, leading to a R52 million contract being awarded to On-Point Engineering. According to court papers, Malema had business ties with Lesiba Gwangwa, one of the co-accused and a director of On-Point Engineering.
Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust was an indirect shareholder in On-Point. According to the charge sheet, Malema substantially benefited from the contract, buying a farm and a Mercedes-Benz.
Meanwhile, advocate Dali Mpofu arrived at the Polokwane High Court to join other supporters waiting near the court entrance for the accused EFF leader to appear. Mpofu wore a red Economic Freedom Fighters beret, red shirt and black jacket.
Mpofu is the lawyer representing the wounded and arrested Marikana mineworkers at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the shooting at the Lonmin platinum mine near Rustenburg last year, when 34 people were killed. He recently announced he had resigned from the African National Congress to join the EFF.