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S African lobby group to privately prosecute Malema

Julius MalemaA South African lobby group said on Thursday that it plans to privately prosecute opposition leader Julius Malema for alleged corruption linked to a multi-million-dollar government contract.

Malema, the outspoken founder of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, was accused of fraud, money-laundering and racketeering over USD 4.4-million government contract in 2009 when he was still head of the ruling ANC party’s youth league.

The case was dropped in August 2015 after three years of delay.

But AfriForum, a campaign group which advocates for its largely white membership, vowed to launch a private prosecution.

Both EFF and AfriForum style themselves as anti-corruption fighters waging a battle against graft that has tainted the African National Congress (ANC) party that has ruled since the end of apartheid.

“We are planning to prosecute Mr Julius Malema on charges of corruption and fraud,” said Kallie Kriel, AfriForum’s head.

“If somebody portrays themselves as somebody that’s fighting for the poor… (and) goes ahead and steals taxpayers money, we believe such a person should be held accountable.” Malema immediately said he welcomed a court battle.

“Bring it on bloody racists, you don’t scare me at all. I’m born ready! No white man will decide my destiny,” he tweeted.

Malema founded the radical leftist EFF after he was expelled from the ANC in 2012. His party now has the third largest number of lawmakers in parliament.

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