Malema's R4m farm
Adriaan Basson and Carien du Plessis, City Press
Johannesburg - Suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has added a massive R4m farm to his property portfolio.
City Press can reveal that Gwama Properties, a company partly owned by Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust, bought the farm Schuilkraal - 139ha of prime agricultural land near Polokwane - in August.
The farm was ostensibly bought for cash as no bond was registered.
Malema has on numerous occasions hinted he would like to take up cattle farming if kicked out of the ANC.
On Thursday the firebrand youth leader, who was elected to the provincial executive committee of the Limpopo ANC this week, denied owning a farm.
“Who said Gwama is mine? Get your facts right. There is no farm that I bought. Julius Malema has got no farm,” Malema said.
He added that he was on holiday, and wished City Press a happy Christmas.
The following challenge Malema's denial of partly owning the farm:
» The Mail & Guardian revealed that Gwama was partly owned by the Ratanang Family Trust.
Malema had never challenged this;
» Neighbours of Schuilkraal (“shelter kraal” in Dutch) told Beeld in August that the previous owner, Dries Kotzé, told them that Malema had visited him on the farm with the intention of buying the property and that he was a “gentleman”;
» Kotzé admitted that Malema initially offered R1.5m for the farm, but he declined the offer;
» But neighbours said Malema later agreed to pay R3.5m for the farm in “two or three instalments”, putting down an R800 000 cash deposit.
At the time, Kotzé told Beeld that the transaction had collapsed because of all the media attention on Malema.
But deeds office records show that the purchase went through on July 28 and that the property was registered to Gwama on August 31.
Malema’s former business associate at SGL Engineering, Lesiba Gwangwa, is the sole director of Gwama Properties.
The company also owns another R1.4m house in the upmarket Faranani Estate in Polokwane, where Malema’s son and mother stay.
Schuilkraal is Malema’s second farm. City Press revealed in July the Ratanang Family Trust also owned a smallholding on the farm Palmietfontein, which was bought for R900 000 in cash.
Gwangwa is the chief executive of On-Point Engineering, the tender-rich company also partly owned by Malema’s family trust, which is currently the subject of a Hawks and Public Protector investigation.
On-Point has earned millions from Limpopo government contracts, including a R51m tender from the roads and transport department to run a project management unit.
Malema’s spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, accused City Press of a “fishing expedition” and of diverting attention “after every progress made by the ANC Youth League and its leadership”.
In an interview with the Sunday Times last month, Malema said he already had 20 cattle and “will breed them, take them to the abattoir, slaughter them and then sell the meat”.
In May Malema told residents of Alexandra that land should be expropriated from white people without compensation.
“We need fearless leaders who will tell these whites we are putting our people here for free. We have to buy land from whites when they did not even buy land from us. This is confirmation that we must get the land for free,” Malema said.
Last year, on his return from Zimbabwe, Malema praised President Robert Mugabe’s land seizures and called on South Africa’s youth to engage in agricultural activity.
Malema has appealed his five-year suspension from the ANC. His appeal is due to be heard next month.