'Malema's looming business ban may backfire'

Julius Malema and 40 others may be banned from doing business with the state.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema holds a news conference in Johannesburg on Thursday, 1 August 2013 on the outcomes of their recent national assembly. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - Economic Freedom Front (EFF) leader Julius Malema's inclusion on the Register of Tender Defaulters could work in his favour in the upcoming general elections.

A total of 41 tenderpreneurs, senior government officials and politicians, including Malema, criminally charged after the government's intervention in Limpopo face lengthy bans from doing business with the state.

The group which has been charged and/or arrested since the intervention in December 2011, also include Malema's cousin Tshepo Malema, former Health and Social Development MEC Miriam Segabutla, former Roads Agency Limpopo boss Mashanoke Mogotlane, former health department chief financial officer Friday Mushwana and businessmen William Lucas and Pieter Erasmus.

The National Treasury plans seek orders of endorsement in terms of Section 29 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act to register the affected entities and parties on the Register of Tender Defaulters who were banned from doing business with the state.

Institute for Accountability's advocate Paul Hoffman told the Redi Tlhabi Show that the Register of Tender Defaulters has not been effective since it was introduced.

"According to a press statement, 890 names are now on that list but they are not there in the public domain. The idea of the list is to warn government departments and the public that these are people who have been convicted in a court of law of an offence involving corruption."

Meanwhile, political analyst Ralph Mathekga said major companies have been included on that list. Some companies have launched court cases to have their names removed from the list.

However Mathekga believes the latest developments will not affect Malema's political aspirations.

"But for Malema I don't think his supporters really care about that. I don't think those who support him and those who have decided to vote for him care about the list. They will see this as a kind of a political move to tarnish his image further. Something that could actually backfire, driving his popularity much higher than it is now."