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Johannesburg - Curators appointed to trace Julius Malema’s assets have applied for a court order to force the EFF leader to reveal some of his assets they believe he is hiding.
In papers filed before the Pretoria High Court last week, Cloete Murray and Aviwe Ndyamara said Malema had failed to co-operate with them.
They said the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader had, in fact, refused to answer questions in connection with his assets.
The curators were appointed to trace Malema’s assets after the revenue service obtained a judgment against him early this year in connection with his R16 million outstanding tax bill.
In terms of the court papers, Malema told the curators he could not answer questions because he did not want to reveal information that might be used against him in his racketeering and money-laundering case.
Malema and others have been charged with racketeering or fraud and corruption in connection with the R52m project management unit contract awarded to On-Point Engineers, a company linked to him, by the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport in 2009.
Cloete and Ndyamara, of Sechaba Trust, filed their papers on August 6, citing Malema and Sars as the first and second respondents.
Sars spokesman Adrian Lackay said on Wednesday the revenue collector had been cited as a second respondent “because we have an interest in the relief sought in the application by the curators”.
“Sars doesn’t intend opposing the matter.”
Arguing that Malema had failed to fully disclose his assets, the curators applied for an order
* Clarify and confirm that paragraph 9 of the order granted by Judge Van der Merwe on March 4, 2013 (that was made final on April 16) should be interpreted so as to compel the first respondent (Malema) to answer self-incriminating questions relating to his assets and how such assets were acquired on the premise that such self-incriminating evidence can’t be used against him in criminal proceedings.
* Order any party opposing the application to pay the costs.
The papers seem to indicate that Malema has not been co-operative and has been playing hide-and-seek with the curators.
On April 24, he failed to pitch for an inquiry called by a mediator, forcing the mediator to postpone the meeting to May 27, according to the documents.
“During the inquiry held on May 27, 2013, the first respondent refused to answer certain questions put to him by counsel for the applicants, on the basis that the respondent had been charged in a criminal court on charges ranging from fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering and that, if he was to be compelled to answer questions which may incriminate him, this would prejudice him in the criminal proceedings as such evidence could be used during those proceedings,” according to the papers.
The mediator, an advocate Dreyer, postponed the inquiry to July 18 to enable both parties to file heads of argument on the interpretation of paragraph 9, and whether there would be safeguards for Malema if the mediator ruled in the curators’ favour.
The case will be heard again on September 2.
On Wednesday, Malema referred all enquiries to his lawyer, Tumi Mokwena, who accused Sars of abusing taxpayers’ money and court processes by going to court even before the mediator had ruled on whether his client should be compelled to answer the curator’s questions.
“I need not mention that, as an accused person, he has the right not to incriminate himself, nor assist the State in securing evidence against him,” said Mokwena.
“Malema never refused to answer questions.”
Mokwena said Malema would oppose the application.