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Malema now eyes 2014 elections as fraud case postponed

download (1)The EFF’s Julius Malema will now be able to contest the 2014 elections before answering to allegations of corruption against him in court.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema will next appear in the court in Polokwane on November 28. But next year’s election will be long over, the ballots counted and the new Parliament seated before he will actually stand trial on charges relating to corruption – if he ever does.

Court proceedings on Monday, at the start of what should have been a 10-day trial, were brief, with presiding judge Moroa Tsoka rubber-stamping an agreement between the parties that will see the trial delayed until at least September 30 2014.

Malema is one of five accused, including two companies, all linked to On Point, the engineering firm that for a time handled government road-building in Limpopo.

The state told the court that lawyers acting for Malema had on Friday, just three days before, made new representations in the case. These were presumably arguments that charges against Malema should not be pursued, but the papers were not immediately available for confirmation.

It is those representations that will see Malema back in court next week for a decision on the matter. That hearing could be itself postponed, or the court could be told that charges will be withdrawn – but the National Prosecuting Authority is most likely to reject the representations.

Whatever accused remain in the matter by September 30 will then, in theory, stand trial.

Malema’s EFF on Sunday night predicted the postponement, saying it would point to a state that has no case but is determined to distract Malema from the looming elections, which must take place before mid-2014.

– Mail&Guardian

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