South Africa 10.7.2018 03:27 pm

Links to cigarette smugglers no secret, says Malema

Julius Malema being interviewed on SABC's On Point. Picture: EFF Twitter.

Julius Malema being interviewed on SABC's On Point. Picture: EFF Twitter.

In an interview, Malema admitted to the association and hit back at those who questioned why he lived in an expensive house.

In an interview with the SABC’s On Point, EFF leader Julius Malema says a loan and a donation given to him by two co-owners of Tobacco company CarniLinx have never been a secret.

In an affidavit that the company’s co-owner Adriano Mazzotti signed in May 2014, he admits to, along with his company, being complicit in a host of crimes, including fraud, money laundering, corruption, tax evasion and bribery.

A feud between Malema and The President’s Keepers author Jacques Pauw escalated last week, with Malema calling on Pauw to delete accusations made on Twitter that Malema had received a loan from Mazzotti to settle his tax bill. Pauw refused, admitting that he had been wrong to say it came from Mazzotti directly, when in fact it came from Mazzotti’s company.

READ MORE: EFF goes to ground after Jacques Pauw puts boot into Malema

In the same tweet, Pauw alleged suspended Sars boss Moyane had made Mazzotti’s R600-million tax bill disappear.

Malema admitted to the SABC that he had received a loan from Kyle Philips, another co-owner of CarniLinx. The loan was reportedly worth R1 million. Malema has said he declared the loan to Sars.

READ MORE: Jacques Pauw writes explosive reply to Malema after lawsuit threat

Malema also confirmed that Mazotti donated R200 000 to the EFF. He said the focus on this by the media and the public had nothing to do with Mazotti, and was instead caused by their detractors’ disappointment that the EFF managed to register and become an official political party.

Malema added it was not the EFF’s job to declare money as the proceeds of crime. “This Mazotti money has not been taken to court and found to be proceeds of crime.”

Malema did say the EFF tried “by all means to receive donations from credible sources”.

Despite the questions surrounding EFF’s funding, Malema said he supported the recent Constitutional Court decision that would see parties made to declare their sources of funding.

In the interview, Malema also hit back at those who recently questioned why he lived in an expensive house, saying they were trying to distract the public from his message.

“Those who cannot find fault in your narrative, they start looking at what you wear, where you live and the likes.”

Malema also used the platform to explain how his party would handle state ownership of land and to take President Cyril Ramaphosa to task over the recent VAT increase, saying: “Thuma Mina should not have increased VAT.”

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