An arrest warrant has been issued for ANC renegade Julius Malema on charges of fraud, money laundering and corruption, a South African newspaper said on Friday.
The weekly City Press said on its website Malema, who has become President Jacob Zuma’s most prominent critic, was expected to appear in court next week. It did not cite the source of its information.
South Africa’s police and prosecuting services declined to comment. Malema’s lawyers and spokesman were unavailable.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Malema dismissed another report of his imminent arrest as nothing but rumour generated by leaders of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), from which he was expelled for indiscipline earlier this year.
However, he has been under investigation by the police’s elite Hawks detective division for alleged corruption relating to the award of government contracts in his native Limpopo province.
The political stakes have also been raised in the last six weeks, with Malema using the August 16 police shooting of 34 striking miners at Lonmin’s Marikana mine to try to relaunch his political career and remove Zuma from the leadership at internal ANC election in December.
In an update to its online article, City Press quoted Malema as saying: “not heard anything. I think if there is such a thing, I will be open about it.”