Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Deputy President Floyd Shivambu and national spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi have jumped to their leader Julius Malema’s defence against new corruption allegations linked to Limpopo company On Point Engineering.
In tweets posted on Sunday, Shivambu and Ndlozi claimed “white media,” “rogue unit,” and advocacy group AfriForum are behind the allegations.
Over the weekend, News24 reported that a “never-seen-before affidavit” reveals more details about how On Point Engineering allegedly funded Malema’s flashy lifestyle when he was still President of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL).
‘No surrender, no retreat’
However, Shivambu dismissed the report as an attempt by the so-called rogue unit to “build a case” against Malema.
He wrote, “The Rogue Unit is using the invasive, illegal and unlawful methods to build a case against the CiC @Julius_S_Malema because they are under siege and will soon be exposed and defeated. Whatever they say and do, the battle cry is No surrender! No retreat!”
EFF has repeatedly claimed that a “rogue unit” existed in the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to conduct “illegal” surveillance on public figures. They have further claimed that it was associated with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.
For his part, claimed “white media” and AfriForum are “working overtime” to get Malema in jail.
He wrote, “White media and AfriForum are working overtime to have our CIC behind bars. This stems from a deep hatred they hold on him and the ideas he represents.
“Unfortunately, prison or the very threat of it, has historically failed to defeat an idea whose time has come. We are not moved!!!”
Malema, On Point Engineering and Ratanang Trust
News24 reported that Malema held an indirect shareholding in On Point Engineering through his now defunct Ratanang Family Trust.
Last month, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it had decided to charge On Point Engineering, represented by Lesiba Gwangwa, as well as Kagisho Dichabe and Thomas Rasethaba for fraud.
They are alleged to have misrepresented to the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport in the award of a R51 million tender.
However, the NPA said it will not prosecute Malema “at this stage” and will wait for the finalisation of the trial against On Point before making a decision based on “the record of the proceedings and any credibility findings.”
It added, “A separate investigation will immediately be launched regarding the administration of the Ratanang Family Trust and a decision will be taken hereon after the finalisation of the investigation in this regard.”
The “never-seen-before” affidavit was deposited by an employee of Gwangwa. The employee claimed Gwangwa had tasked him with depositing cash, “running into millions” of rand, into the Ratanang Family Trust’s account.
The affidavit further claims Malema received other favours such as a R1 million Mercedes Benz Viano, a ride in a chartered jet, and paid-for holidays in Zimbali resort in KwaZulu-Natal.
The EFF leader reportedly declined to comment on these new claims.