Malema shrugs off court problems

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File photo: Julius Malema arrives at the Union Buildings for President Jacob Zuma's inauguration on Saturday. Malema's provisional sequestration has been extended to August 25.

Johannesburg - Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has dismissed the notion that a court battle over unpaid taxes could see him lose his seat in Parliament, the Sunday Times reported.

“I am in Parliament at least for the next five years,” he told the newspaper.

“You have to live with that nightmare for the next five years.”

In an interview, Malema said he did not see the possibility of having to give up his seat.

“I think it is safe to say all has been taken care of”.

Malema said that in terms of what steps he would take to settle an outstanding R16 million tax bill, “for now, I don't think they're of serious concern”.

Speaking about himself in the third person, Malema said, “... Julius Malema leaving as leader of the EFF. I am saying it will never happen.”

On Friday, Malema's lawyer Tumi Mokwena said his client would oppose a final sequestration of his estate.

Malema has until 10am on Monday to give the High Court in Pretoria reasons why his provisional sequestration should not be made final.

A final sequestration order would affect Malema's political career, as he will not be allowed to serve as a Member of Parliament.

In April, a trust was launched to collect funds to settle his R16 million SA Revenue Service (Sars) bill, but it is not clear if the trust has secured enough funds to help the firebrand Economic Freedom Fighters leader.

According to court documents, Malema owed R16m plus interest after failing to submit tax returns between 2006 and 2010.

This week, Malema, wearing a red overall and gumboots, was sworn in as an MP in the first sitting of the fifth democratic Parliament in Cape Town.

On Sunday, Malema said that the presence of his newly formed political party would ensure Parliament was “robust” and “exciting”.

“We will make our radical proposals and we will firmly put the EFF economic agenda on the table,” he told the Sunday Times.

However, he said that he was “not an entertainer”, but a politician.

“Parliament is not a circus,” he said. - Sapa


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