Malema is lying – Madonsela
Former ANC Youth league leader Julius Malema hit back at Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s claim that he was lying about being interviewed for her scathing report released this week.
Madonsela, in her report titled “On the Point of Tenders”, said Malema had benefited irregularly from the tenders received by On-Point Engineers, a company in which Malema’s family trust is a shareholder.
Madonsela told Parliament today Malema’s complaint that he did not get an opportunity to be interviewed, was a lie.
“Mr Malema is not telling the truth,” Madonsela told Parliament’s portfolio committee on justice.
She was asked by an ANC MP about a complaint by the party’s expelled youth leader that he was “found guilty in absentia”.
Madonsela said she had not only sent Malema a copy of her preliminary findings, as is her custom with anybody at risk of an adverse finding, but had also given him an opportunity to be interviewed.
He replied in writing and in the negative, Madonsela said, adding that she was shocked to hear his allegation.
But in a press statement released this afternoon through his lawyer, Nicqui Galaktiou, Malema said he declined the opportunity to be interviewed because “a proper and fair process had not been followed”.
In the statement Malema asked why he was not interviewed during the investigation and only after the release of the provisional report. “Even though the complaints were lodged in July 2011 in regard to allegations against Mr Malema, the Public Protector investigated the matter for many many months and on 30 July 2012 issued a provisional report.
The persons who are the subject of the investigation or are in some or other way connected to these allegations were interviewed by the Public Protector, save for Mr Malema. No explanation has been given by the Public Protector as to why Mr Malema was not interviewed,” he said in the statement.
Malema added the provisional report differs substantially from the final one.
“There is no explanation as to why the findings in relation to Mr Malema and the Ratanang Family Trust in the final report differ so materially from the provisional report.”
Malema implies the changed final report is linked to the charges of fraud and corruption against him.
“These changes interestingly only surfaced after charges had been laid against Mr Malema in September.”
Her final report released this week found that there had been a complete failure to vet On-Point, which had been only a month old at the time of tender, and that its bid was “a deliberate and fraudulent misrepresentation”.
Madonsela confirmed today that she had formally referred the matter to the Hawks for investigation and recommended that criminal charges be brought.
Explaining her dealings with Malema under further questioning from the ANC, Madonsela said her probe led to him via a bank payment from On-Point to the Ratanang Family Trust, which belonged to Malema’s family.
“The other thing to be noted is that in this report there isn’t anything that speaks to Mr Malema specifically.
“The report talks to the Ratanang Family Trust having received more than R2.17 million, the report also talks to a Ratanang farm having been bought.
“All of that information was not coming from interviews, it wasn’t something that could be refuted by someone, it came from bank statements submitted to us by the sole director of On-Point.”
She said she made no finding on whether the payment was improper, instead she simply stated irrefutable proof that the funds came from On-Point, who had obtained the money unlawfully from a rigged tender.