JOHANNESBURG – It’s no coincidence that Julius Malema's request for the National Prosecuting Authority to drop his charges came hot on the heels of his hiring advocate Laurence Hodes SC to defend his case.
Hodes is the same man who managed to drill a myriad of holes into the State’s case against Glenn Agliotti, proving the saying: “Its not about what you know, its about what you can prove.”
Malema is facing charges of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money-laundering as a result of a R52-million contract with the Limpopo Roads and Transport department.
The Economic Freedom Fighters leader has denied any knowledge of the alleged illegal activity.
In a criminal case, the pressure to prove the case is largely on the State.
“The onus is on the state to prove that the state committed the crime,” Roux said.
He added that the Prevention of Organised Crime Act spelled out what needed to be proven in a racketeering case.
"The Prevention of Organised crime act makes provision for a person who is a shareholder in that business also to be connected to the day to day running of that business and that that person can also be connected to an offence.
"Now the fact that Mr Malema received numerous payments from On Point Engineering obviously shows that there is to some extent an involvement in the business and that he derived income from that business. One would have to see whether that was really repayment in terms of capital or proceeds from income that the business received,” Roux said.
Hodes wouldn’t speak about the details of the case nor the submissions made to the NPA, due to General Council of the Bar rules.
However, he gave some insight into how he handles major cases.
He said it was important to go “beyond the docket”.
“Particularly in matters that are high profile, one has access to these documents and sometimes the answer even lies in the media coverage and you find that there are leaks to the media that are substantial that show that the police haven’t told you everything about the matter,” he said.
Hodes says he is passionate about practicing criminal law.
“I teach criminal procedure to aspiring advocates in the form of pupils. I must say I enjoy the teaching of the law because it changes everyday. Everyday new decision are made that change the law and our approach to the law,” he said.