Malema speaks up on trust
Here's what the ANC youth leader has to say about the controversy raging about his splash the cash lifestyle
ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema said the controversial family trust fund associated with him is being used to fund charitable causes, City Press online reported on Thursday afternoon.
Speaking in Queenstown, in the Eastern Cape, Malema said he wouldn’t take bribes “knowing that my enemies are out to destroy me”.
He said many business people had deposited money into the Ratanang Family Trust’s account because he had approached them to fund charitable causes.
He wouldn’t put the names of his son and grandmother on the trust fund if it was meant to carry out illegal activities.
“How many leaders and public figures have got trusts and community trusts? In South Africa there is not what we call secret trusts, there is nothing like that,” he said, objecting to the description of a “secret trust” in the report.
“This trust they are talking about is a trust that continues to help the poorest of the poor. It is that trust that donated wheelchairs here,” he said.
He said there was no proof that an unnamed businessman deposited R200,000 into his account.
“We don’t have a problem with that. You must give us a receipt (of payment), because if you deposited into the account it means there is a paper trail.
“That trust has built churches, that trust has built houses for the poor, that trust has taken so many kids to school, and that trust will continue to do that. I don’t care who says what. If they want to lock me up for what I believe in, let them do that,” Malema said.
He said City Press, which reported on the trust on Sunday, was protecting an “alleged corrupter” while exposing the “alleged corrupted”.
“Why is City Press protecting a criminal who has paid a bribe and who has accepted that (he has paid) a bribe? Such a person must be exposed. And by the way, I’m taking you to court City Press for defamation of character. In your defense you’ll be forced to reveal this ape,” he said.
Malema’s attorney Marothi Ledwaba, who represented the youth leader in his failed bid to stop City Press from publishing the story on Saturday, said he had not received any instruction from Malema to sue the paper.
“I can confirm that our client has not instructed us to do so,” he said.
Malema was in Queenstown for the court case of a white man who allegedly shot his black neighbour following an argument over him, City Press continued.
The wounded man Siyabonga Ndabeni remained in hospital, and his neighbour Gerdus Greyvenstein was remanded in custody after he appeared for a bail application on Thursday morning.
Following the article on Sunday, the Freedom Front Plus laid a complaint of corruption against Malema, saying the police should investigate where he gets his money from after the trust report, and an earlier report that he was building a R16 million house in Sandton, while being a salaried worker for the league.