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Malema off the hook in fraud & corruption trial, for now

Julius Malema’s fraud and corruption trial has been struck off the roll.

Julius Malema arriving in Polokwane Magistrate Court ahead of his fraud and corruption trial on 4 August 2015. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EW.

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

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

However, one of the accused, Khagiso Dichabe, has been absent as he has been hospitalised, and therefore the trial could not proceed.

Judge Billy Motlhe said he didn't want to postpone the matter as there had been far too many delays with regards to this case.

He also dismissed the state's application to continue proceedings without Dichabe, but he said if he joined at a later stage then they would have to start all over again.

Therefore, Malema and Lesiba Gwangwa are free to go as the case has been struck from the roll.

Speaking briefly outside the court, 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."

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

The state was expected to decide on whether the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader would stand trial alone as he requested on Monday.

#MalemaTrial the corruption and fraud case struck off the court roll - congratulations in order to @JuliusSMalema

#Malema Judge says the case is struck from the roll. GN

#Malema So lawyers for Malema and Gwangwa say if state refuses separation of trials, matter must be struck off the roll. GN

#Malema But prosecutor says he wants proceedings to continue without Dichabe. GN

#Malema Prosecutor says accused no. 5 Kagiso Dichabe doesn't have leave of this court to be absent, hence the warrant of arrest. GN

#Malema Court will decide if Malema can be tried separately from his co-accused. GN pic.twitter.com/std3iDdLj5

Malema on Monday told his supporters not to return to the court because they were needed in Parliament and on the ground to secure more votes.

The EFF leader said this was a battle he needed to fight alone and was hoping his trial could begin on Monday.

"I've asked the judge to separate me from that accused and to try me alone because I want to have my day in court. I cannot wait any longer. This dark cloud has to be resolved."

His case relates to a 2009 tender awarded by the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport to On Point Engineering, a company co-owned by Malema.

WATCH: Malema: Give me my day in court