You can't arrest my ideas - Malema

Johannesburg - ANCYL leader Julius Malema says he has never taken a bribe and can account for every cent in his bank account.

"I have never taken a bribe. From where I am sitting I am comfortable and I don't need a bribe," he told reporters after the youth league's national executive committee meeting in Boksburg.

"People who claim it was a bribe must come forward... There was nothing I was hiding from the trust.

"I live within my means. I can explain every cent that comes into my account. The life I live, I can afford it."

Malema was responding to questions about his lavish lifestyle and reports that business people, government officials and others were depositing money into the Ratanang Family Trust, named after his son, in exchange for providing them with government contracts.

Asked if he had personally benefited from the trust, he said: "That is none of your business".

The league said last week the trust was being used to support various charities.

Malema questioned the media's motives in its reports on him and said he would not be silenced.

Can't arrest ideas

"Why me? There are a lot of public figures. People resort to monkey tricks and tactics to silence the leadership... ."

Referring to a Sunday Times report that the Hawks were trying to get his cellphone records and bank statements, he said: "I'm not scared of jail.

"You can arrest me, but you can't arrest my ideas. They can lock me up. I don't care. I will go and come back. You cannot silence political debate through scaring tactics.

"Even from prison I will continue... I will teach the prisoners the struggle for political emancipation."

He said the Hawks were more than welcome to examine his cellphone and bank records.

Malema noted that the "good Samaritans" who had contributed to the trust fund had been approached by fund's trustees.

"They contributed to projects of the youth league. We are unashamed to speak of those contributions."

Misleading

He said some individuals had approached him for help and charity, and he had set up the entity for that purpose.

Malema lambasted the City Press for its initial report on the trust, and accused it of misleading the country.

"Since the report, I in fact have got more calls from people who want to contribute [to the trust]," he said.

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