S Africa arrest warrant against firebrand ANC youth leader

S Africa arrest warrant against firebrand ANC youth leader

South African authorities have issued an arrest warrant for controversial firebrand Julius Malema on fraud, corruption and money laundering charges, a local newspaper said on Tuesday.

The City Press in an online report said Malema, who has lately been inflaming mining tensions by inciting mine workers to strike for better wages, was expected to appear before a court next week.

The warrant related to a family trust and its shareholding in a company that has earned millions from government tenders in his home province, it said.

Local media were awash with reports this week that the country's special police force, the Hawks, planned to arrest Malema by the end of the week for his alleged involvement in tender irregularities.

But early this week, Malema laughed off the reports saying: "The Hawks have been arresting me every weekend."

The rabble-rouser was expelled from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) earlier this year for ill-discipline.

Using a flare-up of wildcat mining strikes to attack his enemies within the party, Malema called for the mines to be made ungovernable as a spike of protests hit the key industry in recent weeks.Malema's aides were not reachable today and neither the Hawks, prosecutors or tax authorities had confirmed the warrant.