AFRICANGLOBE – After three years of delays, the high-profile corruption case against South African opposition leader Julius Malema has been thrown out out of court. Judge Billy Mothle said the case may be reinstated, but for now the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters party is free.
Judge Billy Mothle:
“Starting from 2012 up to 2015 is too long a time for any person to have a sword hanging over his head, and I’m not willing to subject the accused to that particular ordeal once more”
Julius Malema, the controversial, charismatic leader the of EFF, was accused of fraud, corruption and racketeering linked to a $400,000 government contract he secured when he headed the ANC-Youth League in 2009. The trial was thrown out of court on Tuesday when it became clear the case was headed for yet another dead-end. Two of Malema’s co-accused were in hospital and Judge Mothle said it was unfair to Malema for the case to be delayed once more.
“The case is struck from the roll …you are now free to go.”
Moments after he left the court, Malema was mobbed by his adoring supporters.
— ™ (@ThaboMojela) August 4, 2015
— Jacaranda News (@JacaNews) August 4, 2015
Malema immediately thanked his supporters.
Thank u South Africa and the rest of the African continent,we are not oblivious of challenges ahead but we shall overcome. #Asijiki
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) August 4, 2015
#Malema thanked his wife, grandmother and other family members who stuck by his side and believed in his innocence. GN
— Gia Nicolaides (@GiaNicolaides) August 4, 2015
Even fans from across the border piped in with their support.
Some blamed the National Prosecuting Authority immediately for presenting a shoddy case. Critics say it was the state’s refusal to separate Malema’s case from his co-accused that led to the trial being thrown out of court. Malema says the state’s refusal “shows they don’t have a case”.
Now we need to write to the Public Protector to investigate the waste of taxpayers money for 3 years by the NPA persecuting #Malema
— Mbuso (@MbusoHlangu) August 4, 2015
— Nickolaus Bauer (@NickolausBauer) August 4, 2015
— Justice Malala (@justicemalala) August 4, 2015
While there are still many unanswered questions over the allegation levelled at him, many felt that he had played his part in going to court.
— The Purist of Natal (@Spiwo) August 4, 2015
I am a believer in the rule of law: if the court struck the case off roll what can we do – it means he is not guilty https://t.co/0PVL8GBPYM
— Zwelinzima Vavi (@Zwelinzima1) August 4, 2015
Others said the case was a political conspiracy from the get-go. Malema’s EFF party is growing fast across the country, unnerving the political establishment.
Malema wanted the trial to carry on so he would answer and prove his innocence and even gave the state a solution but the state refused
— Zuko Zeka (@zukoZEKA) August 4, 2015
— Given Mahwayi (@GivenMahwayi) August 4, 2015
Justice has been served, the NPA has no case,they would have tried and locked CIC long ago,but they just have tricks and NO CASE!
— #AgentOfthePoor✊™ (@PalediZA) August 4, 2015
It wasn’t long before the state prosecutors said they would be on his case. Again.
[ON AIR] NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku says decision to revisit Malema charges still to be made #sabcnews
— SAfm PM Live (@safmpmlive) August 4, 2015