A probe by the special investigative unit, the Hawks, into the financial affairs of Julius Malema, has allegedly uncovered prima facie evidence of wrongdoing relating to the awarding of tenders to companies with close ties to the ANC Youth League leader in his home province of Limpopo.
The Sunday Independent has learnt that it was no longer a case of “if” there was a case for Malema to answer, but a matter of “when” he was likely to be hauled before a court. Sources close to the criminal investigation into Malema said he faced cases of corruption, fraud and money laundering which mirror the cases President Jacob Zuma faced before ascending to the Union Buildings.
The Hawks were investigating, among others, the Ratanang Family Trust, named after his son, which Malema allegedly used as a conduit for bribes, a company owned by Maropeng Ramohlale, the mother of his son, and others that are run by Malema’s friends.
The Sunday Independent was informed that several of Malema’s acquaintances had approached the Hawks requesting co-operation, instead of being arrested.
“We have told them to wait, because frankly, we do not need them to prove our case against him. A decision on whether they will be charged separately later or will testify against him will be taken later,” said the source.
The source said the case against Malema relied heavily on SMSes exchanged between him and several businessmen. “You must know that businessmen do not want to spend a day in prison. Once you visit them, they tell you the whole story and produce the evidence to corroborate their story,” said the source.
The Hawks investigators have not interviewed Malema on the matter yet. On Saturday, Malema confirmed that he was not interviewed by the Hawks. “They must come and interview me. Ratanang, they will talk what? There is no problem. Ratanang has declared its taxes since inception without failure,” he said.
However, he said it was good the Hawks were investigating the matter as those who claim to have paid him money would need to come out in the open. “It is good that this went to the Hawks,” he said
In February 2010, SGL Engineering Projects, a company Malema owned with his friend Lesiba Gwangwa, won tenders worth millions of rand from municipalities across Limpopo. Gwangwa is also the chief executive officer of On Point, a company that was paid R52 million in 2009 to administer the programme management unit of the Limpopo Roads and Transport Department for a period of three years.
On Point is a sister company of SGL Engineering, which started out as Segwalo Consulting Engineers in 2002, and the Ratanang Family Trust has a stake in On Point. Malema resigned as a director of SGL Engineering last year.
Ramohlale has two companies registered under her name – Ratamaropeng Construction and Projects and Bondu Engineering Contractors.
The Hawks have two investigators probing Malema while Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has three. Madonsela’s spokesman, Oupa Segalwe, said their investigation into Malema’s business interests was ongoing.
“Up to so far,” he said, “we have collected documents, identified some of the witnesses and agreed with the Hawks on the approach. We will be getting three investigators to help expedite the case.”
The investigations into Malema started when his lavish lifestyle, expensive parties and houses came to the fore, with many questioning how he managed all these things on his youth league salary.
The Sunday Independent broke the story of his R3m house that was destroyed to make way for a bigger mansion, believed to be worth about R16m.
Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela refused to comment on the investigation: “We are not giving updates on investigations.”
The Hawks have reportedly collected enough documents which point to money laundering, fraud and corruption involving the league leader. The officials – who spoke on condition of anonymity – said immediately after AfriForum’s complaint, the Hawks applied for a court order, requesting it to grant them the power to obtain Malema’s bank records, his cellphone accounts and the list of companies registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, be they under his name or those of his allies.
“We got SMSes. You could see from the records that there was a request for money and it then gets deposited the next day. Malema has made a lot of enemies and most of them are willing to talk.
“Some have approached the Hawks with information and the Hawks have told them to wait until they finalise their investigation,” said the official. During their investigation, the Hawks apparently found a lot of companies registered under Malema and his associates, with “big money moving from one account to another”.
“There’s huge amounts of monies amounting to millions of rand moving from one account to the other,” the official said.
In August this year, a few days after the ANC charged Malema with sowing divisions and bringing the ruling party into disrepute, the Hawks confirmed that they were probing Malema for corruption and fraud.
At the time, the Hawks said the probe was preliminary. In July, Malema said he was not engaged in illegal activities.
“Why would I form a trust to do illegal activities and put my child in that trust and my grandmother in that trust?”
Polela said afterwards the investigative unit had, from the information at their disposal, “enough to tell us that we need to do a full investigation because there’s a lot that tells us that we have reason to worry”.
He said the Hawks investigation was related to the Ratanang Family Trust and other companies linked to him.
“There are a lot of companies that are involved that we need to look into and their finances and how those finances come in and get out and what those finances are used for,” Polela said then.
In May 2008, Malema was controversially elected as the league’s president and, weeks later, the Ratanang Family Trust was registered at the Pretoria office of the Master of the High Court. - Sunday Independent
Ally ko Ga-mmabasotho, wrote
Prima facie was that meaning Julius will be the South african president as Zuma was also in the Prima facie cases and became president
garden bouy, wrote
leep of faith,the guy is menace to society.this i give go ahead
@Badballie Congrats you have been officially pimped by the media to have a biased opinion about everything. See how many of the headlines today is about a story they created. If someone close to you got murdered and you have to read all about the speculations and sensationalism before the investigation is finished, it is okay but if a couple of honest policemen want to do their jobs, it is not. I made the comment of the media actions based on what happened in the UK where journalists believe they are god. For me this country has more newsworthy things than Julius Malema. He gets more coverage that celebrities and who makes that decision....him? I think not. How about some positive news. Who made you believe that EVERYTHING is covered up by the Police? Surely it cannot be the media(sarcastic)
@ David..Well put. Let us nationalise his money and the businesses lol...
Wendy , wrote
Is this a just a "smoke screen" to make current news or will something concrete be done to bring this man to book? I suspect that if he were white, he would have been arrested before he could leave for an extravagant trip to Mauritius. My domestic suffers with bringing up three children for her decease sister and the government says there is no money for grants but Malema lives in the lap of luxury with ill begotten gains. He is robbing the very people he purports to be fighting for!! His hypocrisy has been noted by some in that he makes the poor people with no money, no food, and no transport walk the full distance for the “economic freedom march” while he slips away in his luxury transport to address the masses. The sad thing is that the more desperate poor folk cannot see that he is using them as pawns to feather his own nest. He needs to know that the more educated members of the ANC are beginning to see the great divide in what he says & what he does. They have noted that he "lives like a white in a white suburb" so the only thing that separate him is the colour of his skin not his value system. The small voice in them is gaining courage and momentum to say this hypocrisy is not an option as it does not change the status quo but rather smacks of a deep seated need for recognition, power, and financial gain for his own end. It would appear that his very actions would empower those who seek change to swing their vote in favour of the DA.
@ Jonny Stud - So, if white people have businesses, farms or houses, they're "holding onto the land". Do you know how many jobs have been created through such ventures? And do you know how much threats of nationalisation and (basically) land grabs has negatively impacted investment into our country and, subsequently, economic growth and jobs? It's people with views such as yourself that's keeping people unemployed. And with corruption rife in this country, I'd like to see how much of the money will actually reach "the people". I guess you're one of those few people who will actually gain from such steps...
If I were an ANCYL member, I'd be gravely concerned about my leader who drives a car that costs more than a million rands before adding finance charges. Yet that leader says he is fighting for me. Our leaders MUST lead by example, from the front. When will we have leaders who trully champion the course for the poor? This is not limited to ANC. ALL politicians in SA draw huge salaries, drive expensive cars, live in lavish homes. But where do their voters live? May be such an approach can be accepted from the DA because their constituency is financially and economically well-off. The DA leaders are leading by example in that they lead high life-style because their voters are also rich. But for the ANC, IFP, PAC and all those who draw their support from the poor and the marginalised, I find such practices criminal and an insult. I am a proud ANC member, by the way.
When will it all end, everyone spoke of the white goverment and their apartheid era, the black government is that much worse, with corruption AND , reversed apartheid. Julius is forever badmouthing the white population , he has started with the Indians now..what next coloureds..... ??? The ANC has turned few good apples, the rest are all in it for their personal gain , Julius, Tony, Jackie,our very own president Jacob Zuma and the list goes on... i shudder to think how our poor Madiba must be agonizing over what the ANC has turned into.... GOD HELP US ALL....Hopefully with these corruption charges , they can lock this idiot and throw away the keys...
can people not see what is happening? it's fairly obvious. the battle is on for 2012 with ?sexwale and the malema camp vying for the position of new top dog of the ANC and next SA president vs. Jacob Zuma and the new "old guard" who want him to have a second term. This investigation by the Hawks comes from the president's desk as a subversive political tactic to weaken the opposition. Malema is stuffed, he's going to get hit hard, but probably only next year before the Conference. I'll take another Zuma term, never thought i'd say it, but at least he respects the fact that I own the land that I live on.
@ anony mouse:- Find it interesting that so much information is covered up by the Police in their investigations. So the police will cover it up again and people will never stand trial for their true crimes........etc etc ad nausium. THe reason the media has to report with as much detail as possible my furry little inbred is that the Police being simply another corrupt arm of our government spend move time covering up crimes for the elite than anything else. You apparently trust the people most of us wouldn't turn our back on.
YOUTH LEAGUE PRESIDENT BEING INVESTIGATED ....WHAT AN INSPIRATION FOR OUR YOUTH.....
Find it interesting that so much information is available from a police investigation. So the media will again mess up a valid courtcase by placing people on trial, convicting them and executing them for the sake of selling newspapers. How much money are being paid for this information or do you just tap into other people's phones and computers? Allow the Police to do their work and then report on the press releases by the police
Give the crooked enough rope and they will hang themselves!
RDP4Free dom, wrote
I support Gaina's call to investigate the RDP groom; there's something very fishy about selling 'lowcost' houses to the government - yet being able to afford a R10mill wedding...
This boy really cares about the poor Ha Ha. Marches for ecoomic freedom then jets off to Mauritius to hid friends who build RDP house R15 000 000 wedding. He obviously supports people who get rich very rich from building RDP houses, the bridgroom needs to be investigated.
Msizo Modisane, wrote
If Malema is not guilty, he must prove it beyond reasonable doubt and, it doesn't assist if he does it though media
John Mongrel, wrote
Aah baba JuJu, see you soon!!!! sent from iphone, 28's Pollsmoor
If Malema he is found guilty, he must face the music just like any odinary citizen. Nobody is above the law.
Nationalize all Malema's companies. All of the millions of Rands. Hahaha
Say it with me now - 'banana republic'... yes sir, it's certainly shaping up that way isn't it!