Not only is Julius Malema’s political career nearing an end, he is in a financial crisis. The 30-year-old youth leader, who once boasted a R250 000 watch and demolished a R3 million house to build a mansion (work in progress), is a millionaire no more.
Even though he is not penniless, he is going through financial hardship. A source involved in Malema’s finances said the embattled youth leader had scaled down his lavish lifestyle.
“He has sold his Mercedes-Benz and he is now very careful with (spending) money. He is not starving, but he is no longer Raditshelete (Moneyman),” said the source, adding that Malema no longer stayed at “boutique” hotels.
Another source – who worked closely with Malema for years – pointed out that his financiers were cautious and reluctant to pump money into his account, largely because of his political problems. He is likely to be booted out of the ANC this week.
The ally said some of the businessmen still loyal to him were facing financial difficulties after the National Treasury and the Hawks initiated investigations into the Limpopo government’s finances.
Malema’s financial crisis was also confirmed by a senior official in a state financial institution who has been monitoring his finances. The official said there was no more money in Malema’s accounts.
But officials maintained that the youth leader’s accounts had been frozen. This was confirmed by two of Malema’s associates.
A Limpopo politician, who is not sympathetic to Malema, added that “the reason he (Malema) does not have money to pay contractors is because his accounts have been frozen”.
The Sunday Tribune could not independently verify this.
Malema yesterday said he was neither broke, nor had his accounts been frozen. “
Where are you? I can come take you to the bank, withdraw R100 and buy you a Fanta orange.”
Malema accused law enforcement agencies of using the media to fire warning shots at him.
To make mattters worse, he owes the SA Revenue Service (Sars) more than R10 million, City Press reported.
He had been sent a tax bill of more than R10 million, apparently related to the millions deposited into his Ratanang Family Trust.
"What? That's not possible," he told the paper via sms when asked for comment. He replied again later saying his accountant said the amount owed was R120 million.
It was not clear how he arrived at R120 million, or whether he was joking, the newspaper reported.- Sunday Tribune-Sapa