Malema changes tune on arrest claims

The Friends of the Youth League has denied that Julius Malema has said he knows he will be arrested.

Expelled ANCYL leader Julius Malema. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Friends of the Youth League organisation has denied that Julius Malema said he knows he will be arrested soon.

The Mail & Guardian Online reported on Monday that the former ANC Youth League leader confirmed that he had received a report from public protector Thuli Madonsela regarding claims of corruption against him.

In the article, entitled "Malema: I know about the arrest, I won't run", the expelled ANCYL president is quoted as saying he is ready for the Hawks to arrest him.

The Friends of the Youth League now say the Mail & Guardian misquoted Malema.

In a statement, spokesperson Floyd Shivambu says Malema had only heard a rumour about being arrested.

In the online report, Malema claims one of Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's bodyguards phoned him to warn him about the looming arrest.

"I am aware of the [looming] arrest. One of Mthethwa's bodyguards phoned me to say he overheard the minister talking to people about my arrest. There is nothing genuine. It is political," he is quoted as saying.

But Malema said he had nothing to hide and was ready to face the law if he had a case to answer to.

"I am happy the Hawks is completing its investigation. They say we have influenced tenders, but there is no proof for that. I am ready for anything. Let the Hawks do its work. I have no sleepless nights because I know I have never taken money from anyone."

Malema would not elaborate on the contents of the public protector's report nor the South African Revenue Services's (Sars) investigation into him.

The investigations by Sars relate to allegations of fraud, tax evasion and suspicions about Malema's quick accumulation of wealth.

It is also understood that the accusations are linked to a company part-owned by Malema's Ratanang Family Trust and believed to owe almost R15-million in unpaid taxes.

The company, On-Point Engineering, was hired to administer part of a multi-billion rand budget on Limpopo roads.