World Bulletin / News Desk
A South African judge on Tuesday threw out a case in which Julius Malema, leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, had been charged with a broad array of offenses, including corruption.
“The case has been struck off the role; the bail paid by the accused must be refunded,” Judge George Mothle said in his ruling.
Mothle attributed his decision to the frequent postponements to which the case had been subject since it began in 2012.
The judge issued his verdict on Tuesday after prosecution lawyers had requested – yet again – that trial proceedings be postponed.
The 34-year-old opposition politician had faced a total of 55 charges, including money laundering, racketeering and corruption related to a $4-millon government contract.
Malema’s EFF is South Africa’s second largest opposition party, boasting 25 seats in the National Assembly and representation at other levels of government as well.
The allegations against Malema date back to 2009, when he was still the leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC)’s youth league.
“I stand before you an innocent man... I want take the opportunity to thank all those who supported me,” he told supporters following the verdict.
Standing outside the Polokwane High Court in his home province of Limpopo – where he enjoys considerable popular support – Malema said the charges against him had been politically motivated.
“I am happy I am free,” he said. “Let me do my work of fighting for the poorest of the poor.”
Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Ağustos 2015, 09:56