24 October 2019
Adv Gerrie Nel, Head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, announced Thursday at a media conference that his unit served a mandamus application on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Minister of Justice to compel the NPA through the court to take a decision on the prosecution of the EFF leader, Julius Malema, for alleged corruption, money laundering and racketeering related to the On-Point scandal. This follows the NPA’s delay of more than a year to fulfil its promise to AfriForum to take a decision on prosecuting Malema.
Nel also announced that AfriForum successfully pressured the NPA into prosecuting Malema on two other charges of respectively assault and firing a firearm in a built-up area in the presence of 16 000 people. Malema will appear in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on 20 November 2019 on charges of assaulting a senior police officer. He will also appear in the Mdantsane Magistrate’s Court in the Eastern Cape on charges of the negligent firing of a firearm and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Adv Nel also announced that his unit obtained a nolle prosequi certificate to privately prosecute Tom Moyane, former Commissioner of SARS.
Malema: On-Point Engineering
AfriForum demanded in April 2018 that the NPA reinstitute the case against Malema regarding the then corrupt activities of the company On-Point Engineering in Limpopo. On-Point, in which Malema’s family trust has a vested interest, was appointed in 2009 to assist the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport with infrastructure development, maintenance and planning and, in doing so, received bribes from successful tenderers.
AfriForum submitted a case against Malema at the police already in July 2011 in connection with On-Point’s corrupt activities. After the Hawks had investigated the charge and indeed found proof of corruption, the NPA started prosecuting Malema. The case against Malema was struck from the court roll, however, after one of Malema’s co-accused were unable to attend the hearing due to illness. The NPA neglected to place the case on the roll again. AfriForum sent a letter to the NPA in March 2018, demanding the reinstatement of the prosecution. In its written reply, the NPA informed AfriForum that it was considering the reinstatement of the charges against Malema and that a final decision would be taken by August 2018.
“The NPA allegedly took steps recently to appoint a panel to consider whether to review the decision to prosecute Malema or not. AfriForum and its Private Prosecution Unit can only interpret these steps as another intentional attempt to justify the delay of a decision about prosecuting. It is high time that people like Malema – who considers himself above the law – are held accountable for the millions of rand with which he and his family was enriched (to the detriment of poor people) through this alleged fraud and tender corruption. If the NPA isn’t up to prosecuting Malema, they should just say so, because AfriForum and Adv Gerrie Nel are ready to,” says Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum.
“The court however set the date for opposing the mandamus application for 20 July 2020. By hearing the case over a period of eight months, the court frustrates the purpose of a mandamus application, as we simply want to compel the NPA to take a decision on prosecuting Malema. This decision is already long overdue, and it creates questions about the NPA’s unwillingness to act against Malema decisively,” Adv Nel says.
Malema: Illegal firing of firearms and assault
The NPA confirmed in September this year that it would be prosecuting Malema and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, EFF Spokesperson, for the alleged assault of an SAPS colonel.
AfriForum also received written confirmation in October from the NPA that it would be prosecuting Malema on the charges against him after he had fired shots with what seems to be an assault rifle during the EFF’s five-year anniversary festivities in 2018. The letter follows AfriForum’s announcement in July this year that it would approach the court with a mandamus application to compel the NPA to take a decision on prosecuting Malema in the cases against him.
Kriel says that the prosecution of Malema on two charges isn’t only a victory for AfriForum, but for everyone who believes in the principle of equality before the law.
AfriForum’s Private Prosecuting Unit also obtained a nolle prosequi certificate to privately prosecute Tom Moyane on behalf of Lerato Maila on charges of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, as well as damage to property. Maila is the mother of Moyane’s grandchild and was at the time of the incident in a relationship with Moyane’s son.
According to Maila, Tom Moyane assaulted her in May 2018 at his house in Roodepoort, Gauteng by scratching her on her abdomen, pushing her around and kicking her in the face. Moyane also threw her cell phone into pieces against the wall before the alleged attack when he realised that she had been recording him. Maila phoned her mother immediately after the alleged attack, who told her to lay charges at the SAPS. The NPA decided not to prosecute Moyane, however, because according to them there wasn’t enough evidence.
“In light of the wave of violence against women and children in the country, this is a very important case in which AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit simply must get involved. Such alleged actions are indicative of bullying and Moyane should be held accountable. The NPA’s failure to prosecute him is also a gross violence of their constitutional duty to strive for justice in society,” concludes Nel.