The ANC Youth League will close down its controversial investment wing, leader Julius Malema said on Thursday. "We are closing it down and then we are concentrating on other things," Malema told reporters in Johannesburg. "Lembede has a very bad image. It's not our problem, we [the current leadership] never messed up Lembede." Malema said the National Working Committee of the African National Congress Youth League would recommend the systematic closure of Lembede Investment Holdings to its national executive committee. "And all its assets will be [closed] transferred to a development trust, whose mandate will be confined to fund raising and social responsibility programs of the ANCYL," said Malema.

Gobodo auditors investigating the financial affairs of Lembede Investment Holdings, the financial arm of the African National Congress Youth League, found signs of irregularities, said a Sunday Times report at the weekend. Auditors pointed to dubious bookkeeping and suspicious financial activities. The report found that the previous management had breached the Companies Act, failed to keep financial records of its deals and failed to conduct audits of financial statements since its establishment in 2000. According to the Sunday Times, some R436-million from 32 suspected dubious deals was unaccounted for.

The auditors recommended that several former leaders be questioned about the missing money. The Democratic Alliance's Jack Bloom has laid nine charges of fraud and corruption against the ANCYL and Lembede. ANCYL treasurer general and Lembede chairman Pule Mabe has said the board would not take action against the previous management.