President of empty promises?

2010-10-23 00:00

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema might imagine himself to be a philanthropist, but for some people he is just another politician going around making empty promises. Last year he promised 50 wheelchairs to a school for disabled children, and they are still waiting.

The Ikhwezi Lokusa Special School has been trying regularly to contact Malema, but its calls fall on deaf ears, deputy principal Archison Gulwa told Beeld yesterday.

“Everyone in his office keeps telling us Malema will phone us back, but it never happens,” said Gulwa.

Malema also promised teachers, parents and members of the governing body of the Makanyu Primary School in the Thohoyandou area that he would give the children 200 pairs of shoes, but that never materialised, said headmaster Nthambeleni Ramanyimi.

Meanwhile, former Springbok Bobby Skinstad’s Bobs for Good Foundation has intervened and donated 282 pairs of shoes.

And still there is no end to Malema’s promises.

On Thursday he promised R150 000 to Chanté Jantjies of Centurion, winner of the Miss Teen Universe 2010 title in Costa Rica. Jantjies is a member of the ANC Youth League.

Mbuyiselo Botha, spokesperson for the Sonke Gender Justice Network, commented yesterday: “Since Julius Malema is in such an early Christmas mood, he may as well also pay his R50 000 fine.”

The fine was imposed on Malema in the Equality Court for remarks he made about the woman who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape. He was ordered to pay the money to People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa).

“We hope he will keep his promise,” said Botha. “He said in court that he would respect the ruling.”

The sheriff of Sandton has visited Malema’s home in the suburb and listed his assets. The sheriff may soon attach enough of Malema’s possessions to recover the R50 000 owed for the fine.

Tumi Mokwena, Malema’s lawyer, said he is aware of the sheriff’s visit, but that the appeal case first has to be finalised.

Malema approached the high court in Johannesburg this week to request permission for a late appeal against the Equality Court’s ruling.

Mokwena said he is not aware of any promises Malema made to donate wheelchairs or shoes.

Youth league general secretary Vuyiswa Tulelo refused to comment, as she believes that Malema’s promises and donations are not a matter of public interest.

Malema himself has not responded to any inquiries.

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