SOUTH Africa’s elite crime investigation unit, the Hawks, refused to confirm a news report on Friday that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.
“The Hawks don't issue warrants, so we don't comment on that,” said spokesman McIntosh Polela.
Asked if the unit was planning to arrest Malema, he said: “Even if we were planning to arrest him, we won't tell you.”
The City Press, which publishes Sundays, reported on its website that a warrant for Malema's arrest was issued on Friday morning, and that he was due to appear in court next week.
The newspaper said Malema faced charges of money laundering, corruption and fraud.
The case relates to his Ratanang Family Trust and its shareholding in On-Point Engineering, a company that has made millions from Limpopo government tenders.
Malema reiterated this week that he would appear in court if charged.
He insisted he had “not heard anything”, adding: “I think if there is such a thing, I will be open about it.”
Malema’s supporters see the ongoing probe as a plot by President Jacob Zuma to get rid of one of his most potent political foes as he bids to win a new term as leader of the African National Congress at its elective congress in Mangaung in December.
Although now outside ANC structures, Malema is said to be collaborating with a faction of the party which wants Zuma replaced with his deputy, Kgalema Montlanthe.