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Uncertainty over presiding officer in Juju case


RC Myburgh
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It is not yet certain who will be presiding over the case of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Commander in Chief Julius Malema who is expected to appear before the Polokwane High Court on 3 August on charges of racketeering and 52 other criminal counts, including fraud.
Malema was likely to appear before Ephraim Makgoba, recently appointed as Limpopo Judge President by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on which Malema serves in his capacity as Member of Parliament representing an opposition party. The JSC makes recommendations to the national government on matters of justice and the judiciary, such as the appointment of judges.
“People should not jump to conclusions that Malema voted for me during the election procedure. He might as well have voted against me. I presided over his case only for the postponement. It is not clear yet who will preside over the case when it is before court again,” Makgoba said.
During Malema’s previous appearance almost a year ago Makgoba postponed the case to 3 August. Malema and his co-accused, On-Point Engineering directors Lesiba Gwangwa and Kagisho Dichaba face charges of racketeering and 52 other counts.
In March last year corruption charges against Malema’s business associates Selbie Manthatha, his wife Helen Moreroa and his brother Makgetsi Manthatha were withdrawn. They were initially charged with Malema, Gwangwa and Dichabe in September 2012 which allegedly involves a tender from the Department of Transport, Safety, Security and Liaison worth R52 million.