Even before the dream of economic freedom in “our lifetime” has been realised, those in ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s circle live like Hollywood stars.
They are young and rich. Often, they drive around in expensive cars.
Opulence typifies their lifestyle. Their lavish way of life has become the envy of their peers – mainly the unemployed. A majority of the group come from Seshego, Malema’s hometown, outside Polokwane.
“We call them ‘fill-up the tables’,” said a league member, who also comes from Seshego.
Some of Malema’s allies are university dropouts, others studied only up to matric.
Four sources to whom The Star spoke say the group use government tenders to finance their lavish lifestyles.
A member of this select group is Collins Foromo. He was Malema’s personal driver at the time he was still provincial youth leader.
Foromo, with no tertiary education, now owns a BMW M3 convertible.
Two different sources say his house in Seshego Zone 6 is equipped with a swimming pool.
Before he met Malema, he worked as a local taxi driver. Foromo did not deny this, but refused to comment.
Charles Rampora, who works for the provincial Economic Development, Environment and Tourism Department as an administration clerk, drives a Golf 5 R32.
Sources in the department say his monthly salary is just more than R10 000.
“When you are one step ahead, people will always criticise you,” said Rampora.
He insisted he has no personal relationship with Malema, except that “he is our leader”.
Asked how he was able to afford his lavish lifestyle, Rampora said: “I don’t account to people with my things.”
Malema’s former security guard, Jimmy Olifant, is also part of the elite group.
He said his Golf 5 GTI DSG was not top of the range.
“Those people don’t know what they are talking about, it’s an old car,” said Olifant.
Malema’s lieutenant, Jacob Lebogo, also has a taste for expensive cars.
Since becoming provincial secretary of the league last year, Lebogo has already driven a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Mercedes-Benz ML 500.
Insiders say his monthly salary from the ANC is about R30 000.
Lebogo refused to comment.
Arandi Trading, a company owned by Malema’s cousin Tshepo, was recently awarded a pharmaceutical tender worth more than R40 million in the provincial Health Department.
His new car is an Audi S3 Sportback. Before it, he drove a red Golf 5 GTI.
Tshepo could not be reached for comment. - The Star