HOW JUJU GOT HIS ride

EFF mem­bers say a Golf GTI was wrong­fully bought for Malema us­ing the party’s funds

CityPress - - Front Page -

CHARLES CIL­LIERS

A

news@city­press.co.za grey Golf GTI is now at the cen­tre of the grow­ing con­flict within the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF), with party mem­bers claim­ing it was “wrong­fully bought for EFF pres­i­dent Julius Malema us­ing EFF money”.

The car was bought late last year us­ing cash from the EFF’s main bank ac­count, but records show that the party doesn’t own the car. It is in­stead regis­tered to a company of which Malema’s 22-year-old rel­a­tive was re­cently a di­rec­tor.

The car was seen fer­ry­ing guests, who had landed by he­li­copter, to Malema’s wed­ding to Mantwa Matlala in his home town of Seshego in De­cem­ber. The guests were ac­com­pa­nied by a ri­fle-tot­ing body­guard.

Party mem­bers with ac­cess to the EFF’s bank ac­counts claim the party is head­ing for “se­ri­ous trou­ble” in March, when Trea­sury will ask it to ex­plain how its al­lo­ca­tion of pub­lic fund­ing for this fi­nan­cial year was spent.

The party must man­age and ac­count for about R67 mil­lion a year in pub­lic money paid to it for spe­cific pur­poses, and gov­erned by strict rules and reg­u­la­tions.

Mean­while, City Press has ob­tained the trail of pa­per­work re­lat­ing to the ve­hi­cle. An in­voice for R377 500 for a grey Golf GTI Edi­tion 35 DSG with 25 000km on the odome­ter was made out to the “Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers HQ” on Septem­ber 3 from a car deal­er­ship named Is­cars in Polok­wane.

The amount was then paid on Septem­ber 8 to the deal­er­ship from an EFF ac­count at the Braam­fontein branch of First Na­tional Bank.

In­stead of be­ing regis­tered with traf­fic of­fi­cials as an of­fi­cial EFF ve­hi­cle, the Golf was regis­tered in the name of a pri­vate company, Voor­sprong Trad­ing and Projects, whose ac­tive di­rec­tor is Jimmy Matle­byane, a 22-year-old stu­dent from Seshego. The company’s pre­vi­ous di­rec­tor was another stu­dent from Seshego, Te­batso Malema, who is un­der­stood to be Malema’s cousin.

Voor­sprong’s regis­tered ad­dress at the Com­pa­nies and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Com­mis­sion is a home in Sand­ton, where “he thought he was in trou­ble with the pa­pers”. He said the EFF lead­er­ship had now “taken a decision to rereg­is­ter [the Golf] in the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s name and we will be do­ing so soon”.

Mpho Ra­makatsa, the EFF MP around whom di­vi­sions in the party have cen­tred since he threw the party into tur­moil just over a week ago, con­firmed to City Press he was aware of the “Golf is­sue”, but said that was “just the tip of the ice­berg”.

In a re­sponse Malema sent on Thurs­day to Ra­makatsa’s ul­ti­ma­tum con­cern­ing the “un­demo­cratic, un­con­sti­tu­tional and ir­reg­u­lar” elec­tive con­fer­ence last year, he dis­misses his al­le­ga­tions and char­ac­terised the for­mer ANC Umkhonto weSizwe veteran and Robben Is­land pris­oner as a lone dis­si­dent with a poor mem­ory of events lead­ing up to and in­clud­ing the EFF’s con­fer­ence in Bloem­fontein.

But Ra­makatsa in­sists he is not alone in ques­tion­ing how the EFF spends its money.

“We are con­cerned that since Malema seems to be talk­ing to the ANC about go­ing back to them, he is busy buy­ing as­sets for him­self. When he goes, he leaves the EFF with no as­sets, and a lot of debt and ques­tions.”

Ra­makatsa was re­peat­ing an al­le­ga­tion he made ear­lier in the week that Malema was “in talks” with the ANC to re­turn, an idea Malema dis­missed as “laugh­able”. Malema and his wife now live when they are in Jo­han­nes­burg.

The Golf is listed in the EFF as­set reg­is­ter un­der the reg­is­tra­tion num­ber the car was bought un­der, but after it was moved to Voor­sprong, the reg­is­tra­tion de­tails changed. Voor­sprong is also not men­tioned in the as­set reg­is­ter. And now the EFF has no le­gal claim to this car, de­spite hav­ing paid for it.

When City Press con­tacted Matle­byane, he con­firmed he was the di­rec­tor of Voor­sprong and the Golf was “his car”. When asked why the car had been bought us­ing EFF funds, Matle­byane hung up and failed to an­swer sub­se­quent calls.

Te­batso Malema de­nied any re­la­tion­ship with Julius Malema and said: “Any­one who says I’m Julius’ any­thing is full of sh*t.” When asked about the Golf GTI, he also hung up and failed to re­spond to mes­sages.

When City Press asked Leigh-Ann Mathys, the EFF mem­ber who made the pay­ment, why the car was not in the EFF’s name, she also stopped re­spond­ing.

EFF spokesper­son Fana Mokoena con­firmed the facts around the pur­chase of the ve­hi­cle, but said the party was us­ing the car for “trans­port­ing EFF VIPs”. It was still con­sid­ered an EFF as­set and had been regis­tered with a “proxy company”. He said it was “un­for­tu­nate” that Matle­byane had said it was his car be­cause

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