S.Africa's ANC wants Malema to explain corruption charges

Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:20pm GMT

* Youth League executives see conspiracy

* Nationalisation plans worry investors

By Peroshni Govender

JOHANNESBURG, July 25 (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling ANC on said on Monday it will give its Youth League leader and political powerbroker Julius Malema a chance to explain charges made in a newspaper that he had a slush fund to pay for his lavish lifestyle.

Malema's call to nationalise mines and seize white-owned land has unnerved investors but has also seen him gain ground among poor blacks who make up the majority of the country and envision him as a future leader of Africa's most powerful economy.

"We will have to speak to Malema before discussing the issue in the media. We want him to explain," African National Congress party spokesman Jackson Mthembu told Reuters.

At a separate news conference held at ANC headquarters but not attended by Malema, Youth League executives dismissed the allegations, saying the fund in question was a trust fund used for charitable purposes.

On Sunday, The City Press newspaper reported that Malema had set up a trust fund in his son's name to collect bribes in exchange for helping people win government contracts.

Youth League executives said Malema was a victim a conspiracy hatched by "white capitalists", "imperialists sucking the blood out of Africa" and those opposed to his plans to nationalise mines in the resource-rich country.   Continued...

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