‘Malema has not been acquitted yet’

The High Court sitting in Polokwane has struck Julius Malema’s fraud and corruption trial from the roll.

EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

POLOKWANE - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says Julius Malema has not been acquitted, and it can still reinstate charges against him.

The High Court sitting in Polokwane has struck Malema's fraud and corruption trial from the roll.

This is because one of his co-accused was not present - Kagisho Dichabe has been absent as he has been hospitalised.

Malema and two others are facing more than 50 charges for allegedly benefitting from a tender payment.

The state wanted to proceed with the trial today, saying it had a witness who was ready to testify.

However, prosecutor Andrew Laka stated he would not pursue a separation of trials, which is what the defence attorneys were calling for.

But Judge Billy Mothle said he did not want to postpone proceedings again, and that the case could not continue without Dichabe.

Therefore the matter was struck from the roll.

The NPA's Luvuyo Mfaku said, "We wanted to proceed. We still maintain that we were ready for the trial. The DPP, with the jurisdiction, can be approached to issue a certificate to reinstate the matter."

The state meanwhile will obtain a warrant of arrest for Dichabe to determine why he was absent from court without being granted leave.

Speaking briefly outside the court earlier, Malema said the state refused to apply to have him tried separately because they do not have a case.

"Why they did not use it? Because they did not have a case against me. They want postponement after postponement so that I become a citizen in South Africa with a permanent dark cloud over my head."

Malema responded to the ruling.

"At any time, the state can reinstate the case against me. But I stand before all of you an innocent man."

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