S.African court delays Malema graft case

23rd April 2013, Comments 0 comments

Julius Malema, the expelled leader of South Africa's ruling ANC youth wing will return to court in June after his corruption case was postponed on Tuesday.

Magistrate Janine Ungerer delayed the case until June 20, when she is expected to set a date for the trial to be moved to a High Court.

The ex-ANC firebrand is facing charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering, based on allegations that he arranged lucrative government contracts for cronies in return for kickbacks.

He was charged with four of his business associates and faces up to 15 years in prison.

The financial affairs of the once influential 31-year-old, who is known for his extravagant lifestyle, were subject to a probe last year by the public watchdog.

Some of his assets, including a farm and household goods, have been seized by the taxman to cover over $2 million (1.5 million euro) in unpaid taxes.

A one-time staunch supporter of President Jacob Zuma, Malema is now in the political wilderness after he was kicked out of the African National Congress last year for sowing divisions in the ruling party.

Malema has maintained that his prosecution was a political ploy to silence him from criticising Zuma's leadership.

He is one of post-apartheid South Africa's most divisive figures, notorious for his racially charged statements and his calls to nationalise mines and redistribute land and wealth to the black majority.

Malema is currently out on bail.


© 2013 AFP

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