Juju no longer so jolly as he faces a sea of troubles
The Times Editorial: It has taken several years and a hunt by several government agencies but it appears that the good fortune of former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has finally come to an end.
Yesterday, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela dealt Malema another blow when she released On the Point of Tenders, a report on her investigation into the allegedly irregular awarding of tenders to Malema's On-Point company. Already he faces money-laundering charges and a hefty tax penalty.
Now Madonsela has made several recommendations that are likely to bring an end to the lavish lifestyle of the young politician.
In investigating the Limpopo roads and transport department's awarding of tenders to On-Point, she found that the company should not have been allowed to bid.
The report details the subversion of the tender process. For instance, she says that the fact that On-Point existed only on paper did not appear to bother the bid adjudication committee. Other evidence makes clear that the committee disregarded anomalies in On-Point's credentials that should have disqualified it immediately.
Madonsela has recommended that Malema be prosecuted for fraud and corruption, that R43-million paid to On-Point by Limpopo be recouped and that provincial government officials be disciplined.
It is thus likely that, when Malema returns to court on November 10, he will be facing far more than the money-laundering charge the Hawks have brought against him.
For all the bravado he projected after he was charged with money-laundering, Malema will find it difficult to retain his jolly demeanour while facing the possibility of financial ruin and imprisonment.
As the powerful youth league president, he could trade on his influence but now, under pressure financially and a political exile, the firebrand from Limpopo has little to offer.