This picture was taken from the roof of the house. Julius Malema's house in Sandown auctioned for R5.9m - The new owner is businessperson Norman Tloubatla, chief executive of of Magnified Signs. Picture. Adrian de Kock

JOHANNESBURG: Expelled ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president Julius Malema’s half-built mansion in Sandown, Joburg, was sold for R5.9 million on auction yesterday.

The buyer was Norman Tloubatla, chief executive of the company Magnified Designs. He left in a hurry, in a white Porsche, after clinching the purchase. He refused to speak to reporters.

Auctioneer Pieter Geldenhuys said the auction for the three-storey property had gone exceptionally well.

“It actually exceeded my expectations.”

He said he expected the property to sell for between R4m and R4.5m.

Much more needed to be spent to complete the house, which would be the best in the neighbourhood, he said.

Asked if the fact that the house previously belonged to Malema had played a role in the interest shown, Geldenhuys said: “Without a doubt. I must say this specific property drew a lot of interest, even internationally.”

The house was sold in less than a hour.

Geldenhuys started the bidding at R5m, but no one was interested.

He joked about the bidders all looking down, saying: “It doesn’t matter where we start, it’s where we end.”

The price was then dropped to R2m before the first bidder raised a hand. The home was attached by the court to help cover Malema’s tax bill. He owes Sars R16m. Malema bought the property in 2009 for R3.6m.

He had the existing structure torn down and began building his own mansion. The plans provide for a private cinema room, a cigar lounge, a pool and a spa bath, a wine cellar, a coffee bar, and a lift. There is also a “song room”. However, the home has no fittings, flooring, plumbing or windows yet.

On March 19, the former ANCYL leader had his Limpopo farm, worth approximately R4m, seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Medupe Simasiku said at the time, that the property had allegedly been acquired with the proceeds of fraud, corruption, theft, and money laundering. The alleged crimes were perpetrated against the Limpopo department of roads and transport, Simasiku said. Alternatively, the property had been used to launder money.

In January, sheriffs seized Malema’s Sandown and Polokwane homes. Sars rejected a R4m settlement offer on the houses in February.

Malema also faces charges of fraud and racketeering related to the irregular awarding of a R52m tender to On-Point Engineering in Limpopo. – Sapa