Malema backtracks on Zuma charges

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

President Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema at a housing handover. Photo: Matthews Baloyi

 Expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema would not mind if fraud and corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma were reopened now, he said on Monday.

“Well, if there is basis for corruption charges to be reinstated and for President Zuma to have his day in court, so be it,” Malema told reporters in Johannesburg.

“We are all equal before the law. Nobody is above the law.”

In 2008, Malema reacted with outrage to fraud and corruption charges relating to an arms deal being brought against Zuma, saying he would kill for Zuma.

He later clarified that he would not actually kill, but that he wanted Zuma to have his freedom back.

The charges against Zuma were withdrawn shortly before he became president of the country because of allegations of political interference in the investigation.

Malema said the ANCYL went to Pietermaritzburg, where much of the trial played out, because it thought Zuma would not get a fair trial.

Since then, people responsible for a possibly unfair trial and Zuma's “persecution” had been “successfully removed”.

“He is now running the state. He is in charge. So there is nobody who can abuse any power and make him not to get a fair trial,” said Malema.

The league's support for Zuma at that time was not because of a personality cult, but was the defence of an individual who had been treated unfairly.

“If it could happen to him, it could happen to us...,” he said.

Malema was with ANCYL spokesman Floyd Shivambu, who was suspended from the ANC for three years for swearing at a journalist and for issuing a statement calling for a change of government in Botswana.

Also with him was ANCYL secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, who was suspended for one year over derogatory remarks about Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba. - Sapa


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