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Expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has denied receiving money from government minister Tokyo Sexwale, but says he would have welcomed such a donation.
“I have not received any money from comrade Tokyo. I wish I had received some money,” Malema said in Johannesburg at his first news conference since his expulsion on April 24.
Malema, describing Sexwale as a “suitable” candidate for president, laughed and said: “Even now, it is not late. Even if he has got something to give me.”
Dressed in a crisp white dashiki, embroidered in the green, gold and black of the ruling party that kicked him out, and a mini beret, Malema was responding to a report in City Press over the weekend.
According to the report, a company started and partly owned by Sexwale had paid at least R100 000 into the “Ratanang” Malema family trust as Sexwale “is seriously stepping up a new campaign to become ANC president”.
“All those who I have supported, even President (Jacob) Zuma, has never given me money,” said Malema.
“I know money and I know what money can do. We can't sell the organisation and the views and the aspirations of our masses for R100 000. We can't do that.
“Anyway, Tokyo qualifies to be a president of the Republic of South Africa.”
He hastily added: “Any member of the ANC, as long as you pay R12, you qualify to be a president of the ANC... even Floyd,” he said, referring to suspended spokesman Floyd Shivambu, who was sitting next to him.
“He's a former premier (Sexwale); he's a minister now of human settlements... a mind who commands clarity of issues, so what more do you want from him? He qualifies. It's not like he's stealing any position...”
If Sexwale had given him money, he would not be ashamed, as it would not be blood money from a slush fund.
“But that doesn't mean I support Tokyo or the Youth League supports Tokyo. The league has not reflected on who should be the president of the ANC. That time is coming,” he said.
Malema would not discuss reports that he owed the SA Revenue Service millions, considering this private, but would say that if Sexwale had not given him money, then it followed that Sexwale had also not paid SARS for him.
He denied being part of any corrupt activities or irregular tendering for contracts.
Over the years, media reports have suggested that some tenders in Limpopo are won through association with him, and that he benefits either financially, or that these associations explain some of his assets such as a house in Sandton.
Malema denied being involved in tender rigging or corruption.
“I have never been engaged in any fraudulent activities,” he said.
He welcomed any investigation by specialist police unit the Hawks.
“I want to be informed, maybe also be liberated from my own consciousness.”
Although the Ratanang trust did not have receipts to prove it, they had helped orphanages, donated uniforms for children, money to athlete Caster Semenya and helped build her a house.
They paid university fees for some students, and helped bury people whose families could not afford it.
“If you ask for a record of all those things I do not have it. Because I do not put records in my mind, because after helping I do not expect anything. They don't owe me anything.”
Malema said when he realised he was about to be expelled from the ANC and lose his income, he got rid of his car, which was financed through a bank on the back of his salary.
“I then said: 'Ehe, take this car. I can't afford (it). Let me just release...'. So why would this corrupt individual not even have a car,” said Malema, adding that he is currently driving a borrowed car.
He maintained that the ANC's disciplinary committee of appeals process was politically skewed against himself and his fellow office bearers.
They would continue talking to leaders in the ANC in the hope of having the expulsion and suspensions changed.
Malema said he still considered himself a member of the ANC, albeit an “expelled member”. - Sapa