'A lot of interest' in Malema's house

2013-05-09 14:30
Norman Tloubatla bids at the auction of Julius Malema's half-complete Sandown mansion. He bought the property for R5.9m. (Jennifer Bruce, AFP)

Norman Tloubatla bids at the auction of Julius Malema's half-complete Sandown mansion. He bought the property for R5.9m. (Jennifer Bruce, AFP)

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Johannesburg – The sale of former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema's half-built mansion in Sandown, Johannesburg, exceeded expectations, the auctioneer said on Thursday.

The three-storey incomplete house was sold for R5.9m.

Auctioneer Pieter Geldenhuys said the auction went exceptionally well.

"It actually exceeded my expectations."

He said he expected the property to sell for between R4m and R4.5m.

Interest

Much more needed to be spent to complete the house, which would be the best in the neighbourhood, he said.

The fact that the house previously belonged to Malema played a role in the interest shown.

"Without a doubt. I must say this specific property drew a lot of interest, even internationally."

The buyer was Norman Tloubatla, CEO of the company Magnified Designs. He left in a hurry, in a white Porsche, after clinching the purchase. He refused to speak to reporters.

The house was sold in less than an hour. Geldenhuys started the bidding at R5m, but no one was interested.

He joked about the bidders all looking down, saying: "It doesn't matter where we start, it's where we end."

The price was then dropped to R2m before the first bidder raised a hand.

Tax bill

The home was attached by a court to help cover Malema's tax bill. He owes the SA Revenue Service (Sars) R16m. Malema bought the property in 2009 for R3.6m.

He had the existing structure torn down and began building his own mansion. The plans provide for a private cinema room, a cigar lounge, a pool and a spa bath, a wine cellar, a coffee bar, and a lift. There is also a "song room". However, it has no fittings, flooring, plumbing or windows yet.

On 19 March, the former African National Congress Youth League leader had his Limpopo farm, worth approximately R4m, seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Medupe Simasiku said at the time that the property was allegedly acquired with the proceeds from fraud, corruption, theft, and money laundering. The alleged crimes were perpetrated against the Limpopo department of roads and transport, Simasiku said. Alternatively, the property had been used to launder money.

In January, sheriffs seized Malema's Sandown and Polokwane homes. Sars rejected a R4m settlement offer on the homes in February.

Malema also faces charges of fraud and racketeering related to the irregular awarding of a R52m tender to On-Point Engineering in Limpopo.

Read more on:    sars  |  ancyl  |  julius malema  |  johannesburg

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