The EFF believes AfriForum’s plans to privately prosecute its leader Julius Malema are motivated by the party’s stance on expropriation of land without compensation.
The party said in a statement issued on Thursday that Advocate Gerrie Nel and AfriForum were trying to antagonise it to deflect from policies on land.
Nel announced that he plans to privately prosecute Malema for fraud and corruption charges related to On Point Engineering, a company that had links to Malema.
The company was illegally awarded a R50 million tender by the Limpopo government in 2009.The tender was to oversee the work done by service providers in the province.
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found in 2012 that the Limpopo government had not followed proper processes in awarding the tender to On Point Engineering.
Some of the money received from the Limpopo government was allegedly transferred to Malema’s family trust “Ratanang”.
The EFF said it fully supports its leader and that the case being referred to was actually struck off the court roll because the NPA could not present a solid case.
“It is not a secret that the EFF is at the forefront of the struggle for land expropriation without compensation and that AfriForum is one of its right-wing opponents. There’s no doubt that AfriForum’s private prosecutions is part of an onslaught against the EFF,” said party spokesperson Tebogo Mokwele.
“The case which Afriforum seek to prosecute the Commander-in-Chief on was struck off the roll because the National Prosecutions Authority couldn’t present a solid case before the Court of Law. Through all these, the Commander-in-Chief subjected himself to court process and publicly requested that the trial should be concluded. The NPA couldn’t present a solid case, hence the High Court struck it off the roll,” she said.
Mokwele said AfriForum’s attempts to silence the party will fail and instead will increase the support for the party’s goal of expropriating land without compensation.
Nel said what motivated this move were questions relating to why the case against Malema and his co-accused Lesiba Gwangwa was never reinstated.
In 2015 the case against Malema, Gwangwa and another individual were struck off the roll because a co-accused was sick, according to Nel.
Nel said there was evidence to prove that the accused has recovered from the illness, but the case remains closed.
Nel said they have written to the NPA and set a deadline of August 2018 for the prosecuting authority to respond to its application to privately prosecute Malema.
If the NPA does not respond by August, Nel said they would go ahead with private prosecution.