One charge is nothing, say jubilant relatives

       Former ANCYL leader Julius Malema
BUOYANT: Former ANCYL leader Julius Malema

RELATIVES of Julius Malema danced with joy inside the Polokwane Regional Court room yesterday on hearing that the expelled ANC Youth League leader would only face one charge - money laundering.

Malema appeared with co-accused, businessman Selby Manthata, who faces charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.

Malema and Manthata had earlier turned handed themselves in to the police in Polokwane before their court appearance.

Nurse Malema, who is the elder sister of Malema's late mother Mahlodi, was surrounded by other relatives and they all could not hide their excitement on hearing that he faced only one charge.

She vowed that the family would stand by Malema to the end.

"We had spent sleepless nights thinking there would be serious charges against him. One charge is nothing. It goes to prove the state has no case against Julius," she said.

When Malema and Manthata entered the dock, the crowd sang: Inzima lendlela, sizo zabalaza - which loosely translated means "even if the road is bumpy, we will soldier on".

Among those who came to support Malema was the league's acting leader, Ronald Lamola, league NEC member and former deputy president Andile Lungisa, suspended league secretary Sindiso Magaqa and Limpopo ANC provincial secretary SovietLekganyane.

Prosecutor Billy Moalosi said Malema was accused of receiving the proceeds of "unlawful" activities, which was classified as a Schedule 1 offence.

Manthata faces a Schedule 5 offence - which is fraud, corruption and money laundering. These carry a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Both Malema, 30, and Manthata, 37, have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Malema and Manthata are out on R10000 and R40000 bail respectively.

Manthata is also alleged to have been a signatory of a Malema bank account and that he had bribed him.

Their case was postponed to November 30. They will appear with Lesiba Gwangwa, Kagisho Dichabe, Makgetse Manthata and Helen Moreroa, who were each granted R40 000 bail on Tuesday.

Malema's lawyer, Andre Bezuidenhout, said his client had not been given a charge sheet.

He demanded the charge sheet before Malema's next court appearance.

Magistrate Janine Ungerer ordered Malema and Manthata to inform the investigating officer when they travelled overseas. -