Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
Limpopo - The National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit has pounced on Julius Malema and attached a R4 million farm believed to have been his sanctuary after his expulsion from the ANC.
The unit seized Malema’s Schuilkraal farm in Polokwane on Tuesday, after being granted a forfeiture order by the Pretoria High Court.
The move came just days after the ANC national executive committee (NEC) disbanded the ANC Youth League NEC and the Limpopo ANC provincial executive committee in what was seen as a purge of Malema’s allies.
NPA spokesman Medupe Simasiku said the order had nothing to do with the SA Revenue Service’s attempt to recoup the R16m that Malema owed the taxman.
He said the action related to the ongoing money-laundering and racketeering case against Malema and others.
The case involved the R52m project management unit contract fraudulently awarded to a company linked to Malema by the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport in 2010.
“The court found that property was acquired with the proceeds of fraud and/or corruption and/or theft and/or money laundering perpetrated against the Limpopo provincial government’s Department of Roads and Transport,” said Simasiku.
Malema’s lawyer, Tumi Mokoena, refused to comment on Tuesday.
“This farm is not part of the cases we are handling. Remember there is no farm that is registered under Julius’s name. Maybe it is a case involving Lesiba Gwangwa and others. I can’t comment on that,” Mokoena said.
A Limpopo ANC source close to Malema said the former youth leader had vowed never to apologise to President Jacob Zuma.
“He thinks Zuma is dumb. He will never apologise to Zuma. He would have done so a long time ago because he had nothing to lose,” the source said.
Malema’s farm is registered under Gwama Properties, a company owned by his former business partner, Lesiba Gwangwa. It is known as the Remaining Extent of the farm Schuilkraal 623, Registration Division LS, Polokwane.
Simasiku said neither Malema nor Gwangwa had opposed the forfeiture order.
Gwangwa, his associate Kagisho Dichabe and Limpopo businessman Selbie Manthata, his wife Helen and his brother Makgetsi face multiple fraud, money-laundering and corruption charges relating to the controversial multimillion-rand tender.
Simasiku said the Asset Forfeiture Unit’s action emanated from the freezing order granted by the high court in December.
The forfeiture order forms part of the ongoing work of the Anti-Corruption Task Team set up by the cabinet in July 2010 to deal with large corruption cases, he said.
The anti-corruption task team consists of the Hawks, the NPA and the Special Investigating Unit.
Simasiku said Malema’s farm would be auctioned off.
“The next step in the process will be the sale of the property, and the proceeds of the sale of the property will be deposited into the Criminal Assets Recovery Account, from where it may be allocated to law enforcement agencies to fight crime,” said Simasiku.
A well-placed source in Malema’s circle claimed he had also used the farm to host social gatherings and receive briefings from political allies.
“He used that farm to relax because his house in Flora Park was too small. He hosted a lot of people there to have fun and receive briefings. PEC (provincial executive committee) members drove there to advise on strategies. You will never see Julius in malls or parties unless they were hosted by his close friends,” said the source.
Malema, however, was still holding on to his Flora Park house in Polokwane. The NPA’s forfeiture order did not include the property he acquired long before the On-Point Engineering scandal.
But The Star understands that Sars is fighting in court, as part of the sequestration application against Malema, to attach the Polokwane house.