Speedster Malema won’t pay

2009-09-28 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Julius Malema is as fast on the road as he is to open his mouth — and he does not believe in paying his fines.

The president of the ANC Youth League, renowned for his hard-partying, love of fast cars and glib comments — has notched up thousands of rands in unpaid speeding fines in the Johannesburg metro.

His explanation: “I only know revolution, I don’t know anything about driving.”

With 14 traffic offences worth more than R5 000 to his name, he is ahead of the Youth League leadership pack. His nearest rival is ANCYL spokesman, Floyd Shivambu, who has managed to rack up a dozen unpaid fines in the city since August last year amounting to R2 625. In contrast, Malema’s predecessor, Fikile Mbalula — now deputy minister of police — has no fines in Johannesburg.

Malema’s top recorded speed was 169 km/h in a 120 km/h zone on September 21 last year as his jet-black Mercedes Benz C350 sped along the N1 near Midrand. He has yet to pay the R1 100 fine. The previous day he was photographed braking hard and slowing to 146 km/h just seconds too late to evade the speed camera.

Malema’s most recent infringement on September 6, netted him a R750 fine.

Contacted on his cellphone in America where he and Mbalula were taking part in a controversial junket to “promote South Africa” and “encourage Americans to invest” — Malema once again pulled out the race card.

“Let me tell you my friend, I have defeated you and your apartheid regime and I’m going to defeat you again, once and for all!

“I am a child of heroes and heroines of the struggle. I am not a child of cowards and oppressors. I am not a child of an imperialist. I have defeated colonisers. I am going to defeat the children of colonisers.”

Johannesburg metro police spokeswoman, Inspector Edna Mamonyane, said normally a warrant of arrest is issued once a fine remains unpaid for 90 days and the offender fails to appear in court “although it can sometimes take a bit longer”.

The Johannesburg metropolitan police department’s head spokesman, Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar, said “any person can be accountable for a traffic fine, even a judge”.

Contacted on Friday, Shivambu professed ignorance about both his and Malema’s fines.

“I think you are very bored, honestly. I don’t know what you are talking about … We can’t comment on useless things because we must first verify where you got the information from because you might have made it up in your own mind.”

He then cut the call.

Contacted again, he responded: “I don’t want to talk to you about that. Why do you even want to look into that thing? Don’t call me, I’m going to drop the phone.”

Earlier this month, amid the furore over cabinet ministers’ and premiers’ waBenzi frenzy, Malema said critics were “jealous” and top government officials should be allowed to drive expensive cars at taxpayers’ expense. He said he would never be a cabinet minister because he would have to explain why he drove a luxury car.

“What is corruption? Driving a Mercedes Benz?

“Driving a Mercedes Benz cannot be corruption. If that is how you define corruption, then you are jealous,” Malema reportedly said.

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