Pretoria - What the ANC experienced in Parliament last Thursday, when the EFF stuck to its guns and demanded that President Jacob Zuma “pay back the money”, is just a taste of what’s to come.
This is according to EFF leader Julius Malema, who addressed the media outside the North Gauteng High Court on Monday, minutes after his provisional sequestration order was extended to December 1.
Apart from saying that his tax problems were in the process of being sorted out, Malema lashed out at ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe for calling for Parliament to be moved to Pretoria as soon as possible. He also criticised the ANC for calling the police to try and remove him and his colleagues from Parliament.
Regarding his tax problems, Malema said he had settled the matter with Sars and by December 1, when the matter is due back in court, he would have cleared his bill.
The first instalment was R1 million and he has subsequently paid another R1m. He must pay R500 000 every month and Sars is deducting R30 000 from his salary every month. “So far, I have paid nearly R2 million. By December, I would have paid R4 million. And then they must back off.”
Malema said he had to pay Sars R4m – this is on top of his assets (his farm and homes) which the taxman had already sold to recover its money.
“As far as I am concerned the matter is closed and those who thought sequestration would be a shortcut to end my political life will be disappointed, because there will be no sequestration.”
He was terribly aggrieved by claims from Sars which appeared in the media that “some cigarette smuggler” is paying for his taxes. “I thought Sars and I have gone past the stage where we leak issues to the media and assault the character of a person in the media.”
Malema said he was going to complain to Sars and ask it to investigate as to how these accusations came to light.
“If they want to know where the money comes from, they must ask me. If you want to know anything about Julius Malema, you go to him, not to the newspapers.”
Malema again stressed that people should pay their taxes, but added that he definitely wasn’t the only one owing the taxman. “If we do an audit in Parliament, especially on the ANC side, those people (Sars) will be shocked. (This is) partly because black people don’t know the (tax) law. We are new to it and trying to adjust and comply with it… “You learn from your mistakes and we must do better going forward,” he added.
Regarding his forthcoming criminal trial in Polokwane on charges of money laundering relating to alleged tender fraud, Malema was confident that he would walk out of court a free man.
“At least we still have a judiciary in South Africa which Zuma has not contaminated with his corruption tendencies… We are going to walk in Polokwane.”
Regarding last week’s spat in Parliament, Malema said the EFF innocently demanded the money from Zuma. “They call that a protest and called the police. Fortunately white policemen came. They know the law, unlike our brothers… They said ‘but these guys are protesting at their workplace… it is peaceful’.”
Malema said Mantashe’s response is to speed up the process to move Parliament to Pretoria because he says the police in the Western Cape belongs to the opposition. “Why? Because he believes in giving political instructions to the police. In Gauteng, the police will respond to political instructions… The leadership is predominantly black. In Cape Town the police are generally white…. They know the law. They know when to intervene and when not to.”
Malema said freedom of speech was guaranteed in Parliament and concluded that the ANC-led government called in the police as they “for the first time in history” have to deal with a real opposition party.
“They don’t know how to handle us…This is just the beginning. The opposition is going to be serious headache for the ANC during the next five years.”