State secures trial date for Malema

Julius Malema may soon have his day in court, according to the prosecutors.

Expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema appears in the Polokwane Magistrates Court on 20 June. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - In a dramatic turn of events, the state has now told the Polokwane Magistrates Court that it has managed overnight to secure a trial date for former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.

On Thursday, the state applied for a postponement saying it could not secure a trial date because the accused had not confirmed whether they had the funds to pay for lawyers throughout trial.

The legal teams are now waiting for the confirmation documentation to be sent from the North Gauteng High Court.

The former league president and four co-accused face charges including corruption and racketeering.

State prosecutor Billy Moalosi told the court that after proceedings on Thursday he contacted the person who handles the court roll at the North Gauteng High Court.

He said despite going against established practice, they have secured a court date.

Moalosi says the confirmation of funds is required to ensure court dates are not wasted.

He said he was convinced by Malema's testimony on Thursday that he and his co-accused have fully briefed their legal teams and are ready for trial.

On Thursday, Malema told the court his prosecution was flawed and fraught with political interference.

Malema took the stand in an attempt by his defence team to oppose an application to have the matter postponed.

Malema claimed the decision to charge him with racketeering was taken at a political meeting attended by Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba.

The state responded by saying there was not a single page in the docket which indicated any political interference in the matter.

It was also placed on record that the case was ready to go to trial when the matter was disclosed to the accused late in 2012.

He further accused the media of humiliating him using information supplied by the National Prosecuting Authority.

Meanwhile, Malema is expected to launch a new political party after he was kicked out of the ANC in 2012.

He will announce in July if he will stand for the upcoming general elections.