The Polokwane Regional Court looks set to become the stage for a media circus, as both supporters and opponents of expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema vowed to launch protests and counter-protests in the Limpopo town ahead of his court appearance this week.

Malema has been accused of fraud, corruption and money laundering and on Friday his lawyer confirmed an arrest warrant was issued. His lawyer, Nicque Galaktiou, told the M&G on Monday she would file a bail application when Malema appeared in court on Wednesday.

Last week, members of the youth league told the M&G that Malema had “lots of support from youth”.

“The youth are angry and they will go out in numbers. Young people will lead the mass action and they have lots of energy. And young people will not be peaceful,” said one youth league leader who asked not to be named.

Close Malema ally and expelled ANC Youth League secretary general Sindiso Magaqa has questioned the timing of the arrest, which came weeks after Malema began a public relations offensive, making a series of speeches before disgruntled miners and soldiers, and criticising President Jacob Zuma.

At the weekend, Malema’s arch-rival Boy Mamabolo told the Sunday Independent he was organising a march outside court when Malema appears, while the youth league’s provincial secretary, Jacob Lebogo, encouraged supporters to assemble in Polokwane from Tuesday night. Friends of the Youth League spokesperson Mandla Seopela said there would be a vigil for Malema in Polokwane the night before his court appearance.

Malema’s allies and detractors could be in for a lengthy stay. An ANC leader, who has a legal background, told the paper the case could take years to conclude.

“We are going to see the same situation as with Zuma, with things like applications and counter-applications and internal orders being submitted, which will legthen the case. By the end of 2013 I’m convinced this will come to nothing,” he said.

Triple threat, and then some
Malema faces a triple-threat of investigations; including a damning report by public protector Thuli Madonsela; a multimillion-rand tax bill; and a Hawks investigation into corruption and money laundering.

In addition, the M&G last week revealed how two of Malema’s close associates benefited from multi-million rand contracts from the University of Limpopo.

On Monday, the University of Limpopo rejected the claims that it has been involved in tender irregularities. University spokesperson Kgalema Mohuba told the New Age the university was not shaken by the report.

“We are very shocked that the M&G decided to omit some of the information we have given to them, because they wanted to tell the story as they understand it,” he said.

Mohuba confirmed the university had awarded the R27.8-million construction tender to a company owned by Malema’s former driver Collin Foroma last year but said: “Friends of the Youth League is not a company, so there is no way that we can award them tenders.”

Five Limpopo departments were put under the administration of national government last year and in May this year, and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told Parliament 38 suspicious transactions in the province had been handed over for criminal investigation.