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Malema hasn’t paid me, says gardener

Suspended ANCYL president Julius Malema issued a challenge to those within the ruling party who were trying to silence him, the SABC reported. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko

Suspended ANCYL president Julius Malema issued a challenge to those within the ruling party who were trying to silence him, the SABC reported. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko

Published Apr 19, 2012

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A gardener who works on Sundays for axed ANC Youth League president Julius Malema claims he has not been paid for two months, and is owed R1 200.

Joseph Mabuza contacted The Star – through another one of his employers, who he had asked for help – complaining that Malema had failed to pay him his wages for February and March.

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Malema has denied the claim.

Mabuza said he had worked for Malema for more than four years.

“I initially worked for Malema when he lived in Wendywood after being introduced to him by the (property) agent who was responsible for looking for houses for him. I then moved with him when he moved to Sandown, before the house underwent reconstruction.

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“I was still with him when he moved to Sandton. I always worked on Sundays. I have never had a wage problem with him in the past four years.

“The troubles started in February and March. He always ignored me when I enquired about my wages,” said Mabuza, who earns R150 a day.

Mabuza, who lives in Tembisa and works during the week for another employer, claims he spent R26 on transport every Sunday in order to work at Malema’s house.

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“I just wish that Julius pays me. I borrowed money from people for my transport. I also took a lot of things on credit,” he said, publicly pleading with Malema for his money.

Meanwhile, Malema’s housekeeper, who had been employed by him for the past four years, was recently served notice.

Rebecca Masia of Orkney, outside Klerksdorp in North West, told The Star she had been informed of her retrenchment on March 30, only a few minutes after Malema had arrived home from the Friday night meeting during which he had accused ANC president Jacob Zuma of being a dictator.

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She said Malema had bluntly told her that her job was over. Masia earned a monthly salary of R2 500 as a live-in domestic worker, whose duty was to clean the house. Malema also employed a cook.

Masia says Malema failed to pay her three months’ notice, “despite having claimed last year that he had registered us with the labour department”.

Now, “when I enquired about notice money, Malema denied (having registered his staff with the Unemployment Insurance Fund). He told me that he only registered us so that our wages should be automatically deducted from his account”, Masia said.

“He promised that he would make a payment into my account at the end of this month. I will take legal action if he fails to do so.”

Malema denied owing his gardener any outstanding wages.

“He has failed to report for work for a long time and now he accuses me of owing him money. If I do, he must come and collect his money. I will wait for him.”

According to recent media reports, building on Malema’s house in the prestigious Sandown Estates in Sandton has stalled.

Beeld newspaper reported that Kwandisa Construction “temporarily halted” their work on Malema’s house last month when his unpaid account reached R400 000. They ordered their workers to leave the site and move to another building project in Bedfordview.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, Malema refused to comment on the endorsement of his suspension by Cyril Ramaphosa, head of the ANC’s national disciplinary committee of appeals.

Malema’s legal counsel, however, filed his written arguments challenging his expulsion from the ANC. Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane – Malema’s legal counsel – had earlier said he did not want to comment on his client’s case with the media.

Asked for Malema’s reaction to Ramaphosa’s latest ruling, Sikhakhane said: “I do not know. I was not part of that legal team.”

Malema’s ANC membership was terminated in February and he was also ordered to quit as its youth league president. The ANC is expected to file its written arguments tomorrow. - The Star

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