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Opposition welcomes Malema's warrant of arrest

Opposition parties have welcomed Julius Malema’s warrant of arrest which was issued on Friday.

"Expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema arrives at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in the North West on 18 August 2012. He plans to mediate with striking workers and management. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A warrant of arrest issued for former ANC Youth League Julius Malema has been welcomed by several opposition parties, who say it is long overdue.

Malema's lawyer on Friday confirmed the warrant had been issued and that they are currently negotiating his appearance in court next week.

Authorities have refused to say what the charges are.

Meanwhile, Malema has maintained his innocence.

Malema's attorney Nicqui Galaktiou says her client will hand himself over to the court next week.

She says her client is ready to answer to the charges.

"Malema has always said he'll cooperate."

It is reported they related to irregularities involving his Ratanang Family Trust and its involvement in an engineering company which has made millions from Limpopo government tenders.

Opposition parties say they are pleased that authorities are finally taken action following numerous complaints laid against Malema by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and AfriForum.

The DA's Dianne Kohler-Barnard says stern action must be taken against the expelled Malema.

"Now that Julius Malema is outside the ANC fold, he has clearly lost the protection from law enforcement agencies, that he once appeared to enjoy."

Meanwhile, AfriForum's Kallie Kriel says the arrest warrant sends a clear message to politicians who think they are untouchable.

Malema believes the case against him is driven by political motives.

Malema was expelled from the ANC in April after calling President Jacob Zuma a dictator.

He has been lobbying for Zuma's removal in Mangaung in December.

He believes Zuma has forgotten about the poor.

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