Polokwane: Storm over ANCYL boss’s finances scuppered R3,5?million offer, says owner

2011-08-06 00:00

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema was set to pay a cash deposit of R800 000 for a R3,5 million farm, but has withdrawn from the deal amid the furore about his finances, according to the owner.

The 139-hectare farm, Schuilkraal, is about 12 km west of Polokwane.

Neighbours said owner Dries Kotze (63) told them over the past couple of months that Malema visited him on the farm and that he is a “gentleman”.

A sale price of about R3,5 million was agreed upon, and Malema was going to pay this off in two or three payments, after putting down a R800 000 cash deposit.

But Kotze told Beeld by phone yesterday afternoon that a week ago he was told Malema had cancelled the purchase.

“I think it is because of all the rumours that he no longer wants to buy the farm,” he said.

Kotze declined to discuss the final sale price or speak more about the deal.

“The farm is not in his name. It’s still in my name. There’s nothing more to it. If you write about this there will be trouble,” he said.

When Beeld phoned again later, Kotze claimed that Malema offered R1,5 million four months ago for the farm, where Kotze has lived for 28 years.

Kotze said that was far less than he wanted, and he didn’t sell the farm because of that.

His neighbours claimed, however, that the sale is going ahead, and that there is possibly an attempt to mislead the media.

One neighbour said that for a while there has been talk of a 20 km tarred road being built across the farm, but Kotze said he knows nothing about this.

The Mail & Guardian reported yesterday that Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust owns shares in On-Point Engineering, which was awarded a contract in 2009 to manage the project unit of the Limpopo Roads and Transport Department.

This unit plans and oversees roadworks. The contract was worth R52 million over three years.

“This means Malema has an indirect influence over the awarding of tenders from the department’s R4,6 billion budget over three years,” the report said.

Malema, On-Point and the department denied the allegations.

ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu refused last night to answer Beeld’s questions about the farm purchase and the tarred road.

“Don’t phone me ever again unless it is about politics,” he said.

Kotze’s lawyer, Jan Kampherbeek, also declined to answer questions about the sale.

Malema has been in the spotlight over reports that he paid R3,6 million for a house in Sandton, which he then demolished to make way for a R16 million mansion. He also owns property in the Polokwane area.

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