Juju is homeless

2013-10-20 10:00

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EFF leader’s life is nomadic since his houses were auctioned

Julius Malema has been crashing with friends and at relatives’ homes since his houses and a farm were attached and auctioned earlier this year.

The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) told City Press during his party’s launch in Marikana last Saturday that he was living the life of a nomad.

He books rooms in cheap hotels or sleeps at friends’ and comrades’ houses when he visits Johannesburg for work.

“They have taken everything from me, but they can’t destroy me. Yes, I don’t have a house of my own, but I can’t sleep in the pipes because I’m an African child,” he said.

Malema developed a reputation for loving the good life – expensive cars, a R250 000 Breitling watch, fancy cars and the finest whisky.

But he cut a very different figure in Marikana, dressed in a red T-shirt, red tracksuit pants, the EFF’s signature red beret and red shoes.

City Press spotted a bag of clothes in a fellow EFF comrade’s car. Malema said the bag was his.

He’s not just on the move in Johannesburg – in his home province, Limpopo, he says he also has to rely on others’ kindness.

“My mother had eight siblings and all of them have houses, so when I’m in Limpopo I decide where I want to sleep, because they all want me to stay with them.

“Some of them even complain that I take too long to sleep in their houses. So you are an African, your home is my home. You can’t let me sleep in the streets because I don’t have a house.”

He told City Press life had changed in many ways since he was expelled from the ANC Youth League last April.

“I have lost many friends, but the positive side of this is that those who I have been blocked away from now have access to me. That is why when I’m in Gauteng for work purposes, comrades will discourage me from booking a cheap hotel and invite me to crash in their houses, and I would do so.”

Malema’s incomplete Sandton villa in Johannesburg and his Polokwane house were attached by the SA Revenue Service and were auctioned after he failed to settle a 16.5 million tax bill earlier this year.

The triple-storey Sandown villa was auctioned for R5.5 million while the four-bedroom Polokwane house sold for R1.4 million on auction.

His tomato and cabbage farm in Limpopo was attached by the asset forfeiture unit (AFU) and was auctioned for R2.5 million.

The farm was believed by the AFU to have been bought with the proceeds of crime.

Malema is facing charges of money laundering, fraud and corruption. The outspoken politician has repeatedly refused to reveal where he lives these days, and speculation has been rife that he moved in with his grandmother in Seshego outside Polokwane.

But he told City Press this was not the case. He explained: “I hate seeing her hurt. Always, when I went there, she became emotional because she kept on asking me why all those things happened to me.

“So I avoid going there so she can have peace.”

» Talk to us: What do you think Juju keeps in his bag?

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