'ANC pays me well'

2010-02-20 00:00

PRETORIA — “I don’t steal from poor people as my mother herself was a kitchen worker,” said ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema yesterday, at the Temba sports ground north of Pretoria, where he addressed a crowd of about 3 000 people on drug abuse.

However, the question on people’s minds was Malema’s lavish lifestyle — and where the money comes from.

“Let those people who insist on an audit of my lifestyle be first in the queue. Let all high-profile leaders be audited. If they come out clean, we’ll know it and we will know that they are better even than God.”

This comes after Independent Group papers reported yesterday that he bought two houses — one for R3,6 million in Sandown, Johannesburg, and one for R1 million in Polokwane — for cash, and that he also owns various expensive cars and a wristwatch worth R250 000.

And this while, according to sources in the youth league, he only earns R20 000 a month, the newspapers reported.

Finance Minister Gordham Pravin this week announced that targeted lifestyle audits would take place this year. Malema, in response to the report, said the allegations are nothing new.

“This time the allegations are just more aggressive. I know of a national trade union leader who lives in a house worth R6 million, which cannot even begin to compare with the two houses [Malema’s houses] that have been reported on.

“I’m not desperate. The ANC pays me very well — more than R20 000 [a month].” He added, however, that his salary is no one’s business. He said he doesn’t mind being audited.

Malema denied ever assisting people in attaining illegal tenders. “There have been many who have approached me over tenders, but I have always showed them away.

“Criminals call other people criminals. I have never been arrested, heard or charged for any crime.

“They are trying to scare me,but I am not scared. I’ll take them all on and defeat them,” Malema said.

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