The Mail and Guardian is reporting that the long-running investigation by the Hawks into allegations of fraud and corruption by former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is almost at an end, and an arrest is imminent.
The newspaper reports that it has word from sources inside government and law enforcement:
A senior government official and a law enforcement official who have been briefed on the case told the Mail and Guardian the elite police unit is ‘ready to charge’ Malema; and that warrants have been issued for the controversial former ANC Youth League leader’s arrest.
‘It will happen before long – at least in the coming weeks,’ one of the sources, who requested anonymity, told the Mail and Guardian.
Malema’s bosom buddy and suspended ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu was surprised when the M&G asked him about the situation. ”I don’t know anything about that, but it’s intimidation – we won’t be deterred,” Shivambu said.
According to the Mail and Guardian:
the sources said Malema would be arrested on allegations of fraud and corruption connected to the issuing of tenders in Limpopo, and possibly for outstanding tax liabilities with the South African Revenue Service (Sars), which has taken a keen interest in his rapid accumulation of assets.
The New Age quoted Malema responding to the allegations on Khaya FM this morning:
I’ve been told that I’m going to be arrested by the Hawks, and I’ve been hearing that for quite some time now. I’m accused of influencing tenders and giving them to those who support me, and I’m sitting here today I’ve never been told that there is a proof of influence.
All sorts of accusations against me, I’m ready, we are all accountable. Let the Hawks do their job. I will answer all questions. I’m happy that the Hawks say they are almost concluding their investigation. I have no sleepless nights about that because I know that I’ve never taken money from the government.
Whenever the arrest happens one imagines Malema’s first response will be to accuse the ANC of political interference. Malema has not been trying to make amends with the party lately either. He pissed everyone off using the recent Marikana mine killings as a political stage, squarely blaming government for the tragedy.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe was blunt: ”Marikana was taken over and hijacked. Out of it came counter-revolutionaries to undermine our movement. . . It is always dangerous to ride on the corpses of our people.”
Others have also come out saying Malema’s political career is over. The head of the ANC economic transformation unit Enoch Godongwana was quoted in the Sowetan telling a group of overseas investors at a meeting organised by Merril Lynch that
[o]utside the ANC he is finished. The ANC towers over the individual. The ANC has had its fair share of mavericks over the year and Malema is no different.
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