Arrest warrant issued for S.Africa firebrand Malema: lawyer
South African elite police have issued an arrest warrant for controversial firebrand Julius Malema, his lawyer confirmed Friday, after media reports linked it to fraud and corruption charges.
“We were notified today that a warrant of arrest was issued against Julius Malema. We don’t have information on the charges and we don’t have a copy of the warrant,” Nicqui Galaktiou told AFP.
She said that Malema, who has lately been inflaming mining industry tensions by inciting mine workers to strike for better wages, would not be arrested as he would be turning himself in.
“We are engaging the authorities to arrange his appearance in court for next week,” she said.
The City Press in an online report said the warrant related to a family trust and its shareholding in a company that has earned millions from government tenders in his home province, it said.
Local media were awash with reports this week that the country’s special police force, the Hawks, planned to arrest Malema by the end of the week for his alleged involvement in tender irregularities.
But early this week, Malema had laughed off the reports saying: “The Hawks have been arresting me every weekend.”
The rabble-rouser was expelled from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) earlier this year for ill-discipline.
Using a flare-up of wildcat mining strikes to attack his enemies within the party, Malema called for the mines to be made ungovernable as a spike of protests hit the key industry in recent weeks.