AFRICANGLOBE – April will be a tough month for former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema. As his R16 million tax bill continues to escalate and he faces the wrath of the South African Revenue Service, Malema will find himself defending three court cases simultaneously.
His first court battle is on Tuesday, when the Pretoria High Court will deal with the charges of contempt of court against him.
The application was brought by the curators of his estate, Cloete Murray from Sechaba Trust and Aviwe Ndyamara from the Tshwane Trust Company, after he allegedly failed to declare his assets.
After being appointed as the curators of his estate at the beginning of March, Murray and Ndyamara were tasked with ensuring that he declare all his assets. But they argued in an application to the court two weeks ago that despite Malema agreeing to declare his assets and getting ample time to make these declarations, he has been flagrantly disregarding the court order.
Should the former youth leader be convicted of contempt of court, he could face a R500,000 fine, a jail term or a suspended sentence.
Malema’s lawyer Tumi Mokwena told reporters this week the politician intends opposing the contempt of court application. Although the case will be heard in two days’ time, technically Mokwena has one more day to file the opposing papers in the matter.
Malema’s second court battle will be his sequestration hearing. The revenue service approached the Pretoria High Court to place Malema under sequestration, to uncover any assets that he could be hiding.
It came after an auction of the valuables taken from his Flora Park, Polokwane home only realised R54,800. The revenue service found certain items that had been attached at this home had disappeared before the sheriff of the court could remove them for the auction.
Mokwena said a date had not yet been set for the sequestration hearing but that Malema’s opposing affidavits would be filed before the matter was set down. The answering affidavits opposing the matter were supposed to be filed by mid-March.
However it is understood that the hearing will go ahead on the unopposed roll because Malema had not filed the papers. But Mokwena said he was still drafting the papers opposing Malema’s sequestration and would file them next week.
Asked about a date for the sequestration hearing, Sars spokesman Marika Muller said they did not wish to comment on the matter at this stage. Sars also approached the court for a preservation order to ensure that Malema did not get rid of any more of his assets.
On April 23, Malema will face his third court battle for the month on what some see as politically motivated charges of money laundering and racketeering.
Malema and his former business partner, Lesiba Gwangwa, were arrested last year relating to several multimillion Limpopo state contracts allegedly fraudulently awarded to On Point Engineering.
Gwangwa is the sole director of On Point.
The matter was originally heard in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court but has since been moved to the Pretoria High Court.
As part of the case, the National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit three weeks ago attached the R4m Schuilkraal farm in Limpopo linked to Malema and Gwangwa.
The farm will be auctioned and the proceeds will be deposited into the Criminal Assets Recovery Account.