NPA declines to prosecute Malema…for now

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has decided to exclude EFF leader and Member of Parliament Julius Malema from the list of those that it will prosecute for fraud concerning On Point Engineering.

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In a letter addressed to Afriforum’s Kallie Kriel yesterday, Advocate George Baloyi, Acting Director of Public Prosecutions (ADPP) for the Gauteng Division says Malema’s prosecution remains a possibility although the only people to be arraigned at this time Lesiba Gwangwa representing On Point Engineers as well as in his personal capacity, Kagisho Dichabe, and Thomas Rasethaba. The trio is accused of fraud in a tender with Limpopo’s Roads and Transport Department totaling R 51 974 057.

“I decline to prosecute Mr. Julius Malema at this stage. After the finalisation of the trial in this matter, the record of the proceedings and any credibility findings that the court might have made during the trial as well as the report of the prosecutor who conducted the trial will be perused to determine whether a criminal prosecution should be instituted against Julius Malema.”

Advocate Baloyi adds that a separate investigation has been launched regarding the administration of the Ratanang Family Trust and a decision will be taken once it is concluded. Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust was a shareholder in On Point Engineering.

Gwangwa also faces another charge in the place of On Point Engineers as well as in his personal capacity for three counts of fraud for making fraudulent misrepresentations to the Roads and Transport Department and Professional Service Providers that On Point Enginnering had nit been paid for drawing and designs whereas it was paid more than R8 000 000 according to the NPA.

Laats month Afrifourm announced that it is attempting to pursue plans to prosecute Julius Malema for alleged corrupt dealings related to On Point Engineering. Advocate Gerrie Nel, head of AfriForum’s private prosecution unit said the organisation would be applying to the NPA for a decision on whether it will prosecute Malema to be made speedily.

A report by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Malema had benefitted improperly benefited from the On Point Engineering tender in what it said was a case of “maladministration”.

Malema had previously been charged but the case was struck off the roll in 2015 after extended delays. The NPA had not made a clear pronouncement on the way forward until now.