Arrest warrant issued for Malema: report
An arrest warrant has been issued for ANC renegade Julius Malema on charges of fraud, money laundering and corruption, a newspaper says.
UPDATE: "He was contacted about an arrest warrant,” Nicqui Galaktiou of Brian Kahn Inc. Attorneys told Reuters.
She could not immediately give further details about the warrant, which South African newspaper City Press said earlier was related to charges of fraud, money laundering and corruption.
EARLIER: At a news conference on Tuesday, Malema dismissed another report of his imminent arrest as nothing but rumour generated by leaders of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), from which he was expelled for indiscipline earlier this year.
However, he has been under investigation by the police’s elite Hawks detective division for alleged corruption relating to the award of government contracts in his native Limpopo province.
The political stakes have also been raised in the last six weeks, with Malema using the Aug. 16 police shooting of 34 striking miners at Lonmin's Marikana mine to try to relaunch his political career and remove Zuma from the leadership at internal ANC election in December.
In an update to its online article, City Press quoted Malema as saying: “not heard anything. I think if there is such a thing, I will be open about it.”
The Hawks would not confirm a news report on Friday that a warrant had been issued for the arrest of expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.
"The Hawks don't issue warrants, so we don't comment on that," said spokesman McIntosh Polela.
Asked if the unit was planning to arrest Malema, he said: "Even if we were planning to arrest him, we won't tell you."
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's spokesman, Zweli Mnisi, referred queries to provincial police.
Gauteng police spokesman, Brigadier Neville Malila, said he knew nothing about an arrest warrant for Malema.
The National Prosecuting Authority said the SA Revenue Service had applied for a warrant.
"I'm not aware of that. Sars applied for that warrant, so they are in a better place to comment on that," said spokesman Vuyisile Calaza.
"At this stage, we know nothing about the warrant or his arrest. No docket has been brought to us."
Sars spokesman Adrian Lackay said: "Sars does not issue warrants. If warrants are issued, it would be by the SA Police Service."
Justice department spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga could not immediately be reached for comment.
Malema willing to go to jail
Earlier this week, Malema told reporters in Johannesburg that he knew an "illegal warrant" would be issued for his arrest.
"If we are illegally arrested tomorrow, we would have been arrested by [president] Jacob Zuma," Malema said at the time.
He said he was willing and ready to go to jail, and was not intimidated.
"I have nothing to hide... I only have my convictions. Nothing will stop me from fighting for economic freedom, not even my death... We are unshaken."
Malema said he had it "on good authority" that there were instructions "to get rid of some us..."
At the time, presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said: "The presidency is aware that this person is prone to making wildly unsubstantiated and unwarranted claims and statements, and we do not wish to dignify them."
Suspended ANCYL spokesman Floyd Shivambu could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday.
Could be found guilty of incitement
Former University of South Africa criminal law lecturer Carel Snyman concluded that Malema did not have a valid defence to the charges of incitement with regards to his speech to miners.
Snyman was commissioned by trade union Solidarity to compile an expert view on the matter.
The union earlier filed criminal charges of incitement to violence and intimidation against Malema, following comments he made to striking mine workers urging them to make the mines "ungovernable".
Solidarity deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann said on Friday that Snyman had found Malema did not have a valid defence.
"It is... immaterial whether or not the mine workers had in any way been influenced by Malema's utterances," he said in a statement.
"Incitement to commit any crime is punishable. The definition of incitement does not distinguish between successful and unsuccessful incitement."
Hermann said the report had been given to the Hawks to assist in their investigation of the charges against Malema.