South Africa

Malema had secret trust fund to fund lifestyle, newspaper says

Reuters

A South African newspaper claims to have uncovered a secret trust fund used by the youth leader of the ruling African national congress Julius Malema to fund his millionaire lifestyle. Malema went to court in an unsuccessful bid to gag the newspaper.

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The Johannesburg-based City Press reports that Julius Malema registered a trust shortly after taking up the ANC youth league presidency in 2008.

It says a cattle farm that Malema admits to owning was bought by the fund for 90,000 euros in cash in June last year.

Rejecting Malema application for an interdict gagging the newspaper, the judge ruled that publishing the story is in the public interest.

And the evidence contained in the report is credible.

The newspaper cites two independent, well-placed sources with knowledge of Malema’s financial dealings saying funds are regularly deposited into the trust.

Malema denies that the trust is being used to launder illicit funds, but refuses to divulge its purpose or bank balance.

After last week’s report that he’s building himself a 1.6 million euro house in an upmarket Johannesburg's suburb, Malema called a media briefing to say it’s nobody's business where he gets his money from.

Malema insists he’s a man of the poor.

Opposition political parties are calling on the taxman to investigate his wealth, saying it’s not compatible with his reported 2,500 euro monthly salary.

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