EFF supporters.Picture: ROGAN WARD
EFF supporters.Picture: ROGAN WARD

The EFF has said the proposed private prosecution of Julius Malema is a bid by lobby group AfriForum to divert attention from the issue of land expropriation without compensation.

AfriForum said on Thursday it was planning to prosecute Malema on fraud and corruption charges related to On-Point Engineering, a company in which Malema’s family trust, Ratanang, had an interest.

The original case was struck off the roll in 2015.

The Limpopo roads department appointed On-Point to advise it on tenders awarded to companies. Those that won the tenders allegedly paid money into an account held by On-Point Engineering.

Responding to the news, Malema tweeted: "Bring it on bloody racists‚ you don’t scare me at all. I’m born ready! No white man will decide my destiny‚ the poor masses of our people will ..."

The EFF later said the prosecution was a "nonsensical attempt of the ultra-right wing" that had less to do about the rule of law than deflecting attention from the thorny issue of land.

"It is not a secret that the EFF is at the forefront of the struggle for land expropriation without compensation and that AfriForum is one of its right-wing opponents‚" spokeswoman Tebogo Mokwele said.

"Instead of engaging in a democratic debate and engagement on the land question‚ AfriForum does what their colonial and apartheid forefathers did to freedom fighters‚ which is criminal persecution and prosecutions for political reasons."

The EFF said the original case was struck off the roll because the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) "couldn’t present a solid case".

The EFF believed the private prosecution would simply multiply support for land expropriation without compensation.

AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel said: "Nobody is above the law. Even if Mr Malema thinks he is above the law‚ he is not.

"We will make sure that he is held accountable."

The man to lead the prosecution‚ Gerrie Nel‚ said they were not happy with the way that the NPA was handling the matter.

"Our only interest is equality before the law.

"We’ve said from the start that we are interested only in those people that are sheltered against prosecution because of who they are or political affiliation.... We think that it is an excellent matter to develop the law‚" Nel said.

Kriel said it did not make sense that the NPA after two years had not brought the matter back to the court roll after it was struck off in August 2015.