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Sunday, 30 October 2011

MALEMA FACES ARREST.



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