Friday, July 29, 2011

ANC Youth Leader Threatens to Take Legal Action Against City Press in South Africa

Malema: By the way, City Press, I'll see you in court

Jul 28 2011 17:12

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has spoken out on reports that his "secret" family trust is being used to launder bribes, saying that he plans to sue City Press for defamation, the newspaper's website reported on Thursday.

Speaking in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, Malema reportedly warned that the name of the "ape" who was quoted in reports as saying he had paid R200000 into the youth league leader's Ratanang trust, as a reward for helping him secure a lucrative tender, would be exposed by court action against the newspaper.

Malema's trust issues

In the wake of the ANC Youth League's defiant response to corruption allegations concerning Julius Malema's "secret" trust fund, we speak to M&G politics reporter Matuma Letsoalo for insight into what this scandal means for the youth league president's future.

But Malema's lawyer said he had not received any instructions from Malema to launch defamation proceedings.

Malema repeated the youth league's insistence that the controversial family trust fund associated with him is being used to fund charitable causes, City Press reported on its website on Thursday afternoon.

Malema said he wouldn't have taken bribes "knowing that my enemies are out to destroy me".

Charitable causes

He said many business people had deposited money into the Ratanang Family Trust's account because he had approached them to fund charitable causes.

He wouldn't put the names of his son and grandmother on the trust fund if it was meant to carry out illegal activities.

"How many leaders and public figures have got trusts and community trusts? In South Africa there is not what we call secret trusts, there is nothing like that," he said, objecting to the description of a "secret trust" in the report.

"This trust they are talking about is a trust that continues to help the poorest of the poor. It is that trust that donated wheelchairs here," he said.

He said there was no proof that an unnamed businessman deposited R200000 into his account.

"We don't have a problem with that. You must give us a receipt [of payment], because if you deposited into the account it means there is a paper trail.

Let them lock me up, then
"That trust has built churches, that trust has built houses for the poor, that trust has taken so many kids to school, and that trust will continue to do that. I don't care who says what. If they want to lock me up for what I believe in, let them do that," Malema said.

He said City Press, which reported on the trust on Sunday, was protecting an "alleged corrupter" while exposing the "alleged corrupted".

"Why is City Press protecting a criminal who has paid a bribe and who has accepted that [he has paid] a bribe? Such a person must be exposed. And by the way, I'm taking you to court City Press for defamation of character. In your defence you'll be forced to reveal this ape," he said.

Malema's attorney Marothi Ledwaba, who represented the youth leader in his failed bid to stop City Press from publishing the story on Saturday, said he had not received any instruction from Malema to sue the paper.

"I can confirm that our client has not instructed us to do so," he said.

Man shot 'over Malema'
Malema was in Queenstown for the court case of a white man who allegedly shot his black neighbour following an argument over the youth league leader, City Press continued.

The wounded man, Siyabonga Ndabeni, remained in hospital, and his neighbour Gerdus Greyvenstein was remanded in custody after he appeared for a bail application on Thursday morning.

Following the article on Sunday, the Freedom Front Plus laid a complaint of corruption against Malema, saying the police should investigate where he gets his money from after the trust report, and an earlier report that he was building a R16-million house in Sandton, while being a salaried worker for the league.

This week the league defended him by calling the City Press journalists and editor "puppets" of "masters" bent on protecting ill-gotten wealth. -- Sapa

Source: Mail & Guardian Online
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