SUSPENDED ANC Youth League (ANCYL) spokesman Floyd Shivambu is cruising around in a luxury car bought by one of Julius Malema’s business allies.
The Sunday Independent has learnt from two independent sources that IT and construction mogul Collen Mashawana, a known associate of Malema, has paid the car instalments since its purchase last year.
The once influential ANCYL leader earns a gross salary of under R30 000 a month from the ANC. Shivambu’s BMW 5 Series costs almost R500 000.
Although Shivambu is a director of four companies, The Sunday Independent has established that none of these firms appears to be doing business.
Shivambu initially confirmed that Mashawana had bought the vehicle as a result of their business partnership in a new magazine, Loocha, adding that the vehicle’s existence was “never a secret”.
“We are working together. We decided to buy the car in the name of the company. It is not a fully paid car. I think people are just jealous. Even with the salary of the ANC, you can afford it… If they say Collen bought me a car for political influence, which tender are they talking about?”
However, Shivambu later said: “I am paying for it from my own pocket… and we are in the process of changing ownership.”
Shivambu said he was no longer working with Mashawana on Loocha.
His about-turn followed a phone conversation between The Sunday Independent and Mashawana, in which he denied having a business relationship with Shivambu any more.
“I did not buy him a BMW 5 Series. According to my knowledge, Shivambu owns a BMW 1 Series and not a 5 Series.”
Mashawana said Shivambu had bought his car long before they started working together. He would not explain why the vehicle was registered in the name of an employee.
Asked why the car was not initially registered in Shivambu or Loocha’s name, Mashawana said: “Kindly enquire with Shivambu.”
After Mashawana distanced himself from Loocha, Shivambu changed his tune and said via an SMS that “we worked together on the magazine and now the only directors of Loocha are Floyd Shivambu and editor Nombulelo Mgojo”.
The youth leader added that he and Mashawana agreed that “when we stopped working together we would register the car under my name”.
Shivambu insisted he was now funding the car out of his own pocket because “I am not in a financial crisis”.
He said the vehicle was “all over newspapers in the week we went to conference (ANCYL) last year”.
Until recently, all eyes have been on Malema’s wealth and the moneymen who pumped cash into the expelled former youth league leader’s Ratanang Family Trust.
Now it appears those around Malema were also benefiting from his financial connections.
News of Shivambu’s financial status came as anti-Malema youth leaders accused the former youth league chief and his allies of having “mortgaged and commercialised” the league in exchange for money from business “acquaintances”.
Shivambu dismissed the accusations as a “sickness”, saying he had never sold his political influence.