Moneybags Juju

2011-07-12 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Julius Malema, the controversial ANC Youth League leader, paid R78 000 in cash for a three-day frolic with five friends at the “colonial” and ultra-luxurious Royal Malewane next to the Kruger National Park.

His luxury adventure occurred shortly before his re-election as ANC Youth League president three weeks ago in an election campaign that saw him repeatedly sell himself as a champion of the poor.

The news comes on the heels of reports that he has also recently enjoyed a fine holiday in Italy and that he has flattened a R3,6 million Bedfordview home to build another one.

Malema and the management of the Royal Malewane, located in the famous private Thornybush Game Reserve adjoining the Kruger National Park, refused to comment on the visit.

However, Media24 Investigations has confirmed — with five sources with direct knowledge — that the Malema visit occurred.

Three sources confirmed that the bill was settled in cash.

Media24 Investigations understands that Malema and his group of friends were invited by a therapist who works at the luxury spa at the lodge.

The therapist, whose name is known to The Witness, is also a girlfriend of one of Malema’s close friends.

Employees of the lodge get free nights as part of their benefits, and Malema was invited to spend a night for free.

He paid for himself and his five friends to stay on for three nights altogether.

It is uncertain how many of the people in his group remained for a free night.

Lodge insiders said that the Malema entourage did “the normal tourist things”, such game drives, luxury picnics and spa treatments.

The advertised cost per person per night sharing is almost R11 000.

When Malema settled the bill on behalf of the group, the administrative staff’s eyes widened when he presented them with R78 000 in cash. Malema himself was tight-lipped.

Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said he would not talk to the media and that claims that the trip occurred were lies.

They are all liars,” he said.

He said that he had spoken to Malema about the matter and that he had declined to comment.

Shivambu then told our reporter “f**k you” three times before finally telling him to “f**k off” (see transcript below).

Juan Pinto, director and general manager of the Royal Malewane, said the lodge’s official policy is not to comment on any guests.

When asked about the account settled in cash, he said any questions about Malema should be asked of Malema.

According to the lodge’s advertising material, Malewane is a “big five” destination, boasting a French Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Blazon Award for its restaurant.

The spa offers a variety of treatments and guests can view wildlife at watering holes just metres away from their treatments.

Mbali Ntuli, chairperson of the Democratic Alliance Youth, said the organisation is not surprised at Malema’s latest indulgence.

“He has shown again and again that the rhetoric he espouses as ANCYL leader is at odds with the way he conducts his own affairs.

“One has to question whether his calls for nationalisation and radical land reform are really aimed at addressing the widespread poverty and unemployment among our youth, or just a means to ensure that a select, privileged few are able to continue living lives of luxury and excess,” said Ntuli.

Foul-mouthed Floyd:

A TRANSCRIPT of a second telephone conversation between ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu and reporter Jacques Dommisse, requesting comment from Julius Malema:

Jacques Dommisse: So, why did you put the phone down?

Floyd Shivambu: Hey?

JD: Why did you put the phone down?

FS: Hey man. You are doing a wild goose chase. I say that if you want to go ahead and write, go ahead and write because he won’t speak to you. It never happened, okay? He [Malema] doesn’t want to talk to you.

JD: Why will you not let me speak to Malema?

FS: I said he doesn’t want to. Why must he speak to you? He has no obligation to speak to you?

JD: Because he is a politician.

FS: Yes, but I said no. You cannot force people to speak to you.

JD: I don’t understand?

FS: He will not speak to you. You cannot force someone to speak to you if they do not want to speak to you. He does not want to speak to you. I have just spoken to him.

JD: How do you know he doesn’t want to speak to me?

FS: Because I just spoke to him now.

JD: How do you mean you have just spoken with him? I don’t understand.

FS: F**k you.

JD: Say again?

FS: I said: “F**k you”

JD: Are you swearing at me?

FS: Yes.

JD: Why are you doing that?

FS: What is your problem?

JD: I have no problem.

FS: F**k you. F**k off, ok.

JD: Oh, so you now said it for the fourth time?

FS: Yes.

JD: Can you please give me a contact number for Julius Malema?

FS: I don’t want.

JD. Okay. Thank-you. Goodbye.

To download and listen to the MP3 file, click here.

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