Speedster Malema won't pay
Johannesburg - Julius Malema is just as fast on the road as he is to open his mouth – and he does not believe in paying his speeding 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 alone.
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 spokesperson 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 as ANCYL president, Fikile Mbalula - now deputy minister of police - has no fines in Johannesburg.
Malema's top recorded speed was 169km/h in a 120km/h zone on 21 September 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 also photographed as he braked hard and slowed to 146km/h, just seconds too late to evade the speed camera.
Currently in the US
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!"
“All of you combined, you can't do anything. You are wasting your time."
“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.”
Could face arrest
Johannesburg metro police spokesperson, Inspector Edna Mamonyane, said normally a warrant of arrest was issued once a fine remained unpaid for 90 days and the offender failed to appear in court “although it can sometimes take a bit longer”.
She declined to comment about Malema.
The JMPD's head spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar, said that “any person will be accountable for any traffic fine, whether they are a judge or whoever they are”.
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 brusquely: “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 national furore over cabinet ministers' and premiers' waBenzi frenzy, Malema said that critics were “jealous” and that top government officials should be allowed to drive expensive cars at taxpayers' expense. He said he would never be a cabinet minister because then 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.