South Africa issued an arrest warrant for popular youth leader Julius Malema, an outspoken critic of President Jacob Zuma, in a move that was decried by many as politically motivated.
Malema, who was recently expelled from the ruling African National Congress after he served as its Youth League president, faces corruption, money laundering, and fraud charges, the South Africa City Press reported. His attorney, Nicqui Galaktiou, confirmed that a warrant is out for his arrest.
Galaktiou said Malema and his legal team are negotiating with South African authorities over his court appearance.
Malema is expected to hand himself over to authorities on Monday, reported South Africa’s Independent Online. Galaktiou told the publication that she understood he would not be arrested, stressing that the legal team does not have a copy of the warrant.
A former head of the ANC Youth League, Sindiso Magaqa, told the South African Press Agency that “there is nothing substantive about these charges, these charges are brought to fight political battles in the ANC.”If he is arrested, Magaqa said that “young people will react, young people will defend the leader that represented their interests.”
Last week, Malema said he has “nothing to hide … I only have my convictions,” according to the Mail and Guardian newspaper. “Nothing will stop me from fighting for economic freedom, not even my death … We are unshaken.”
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