ANCYL leader Julius Malema yesterday sang a different tune, distancing himself from a company that is said to have received government tenders worth more than R140million.

A Sunday Times investigation revealed that SGL had received 20 government tenders worth between R500000 and R39million between 2007 and 2009.

When the story broke at the weekend a brazen Malema accused journalists of having problems with "an African child who is emerging and becoming successful".

"There is no law that says politicians can't be businessmen. The problem with you is that when an African child is emerging and becoming successful, that is when you have a problem. That is your major problem that causes you sleepless nights," Malema was quoted as saying.

But yesterday Malema told the media that he had resigned from SGL Engineering Projects - of which he is registered as a director together with Lesiba Gwangwa - in 2008 when he became the ANCYL president.

"Since my election as president of the ANC Youth League in 2008, I instructed my lawyers to process my resignations from all these corporations and companies ... when I was based in Limpopo," he said.

He had done so to enable him to focus his attentions on the ANCYL.

Malema could not provide written proof of his resignations, saying all communication with his lawyer had been done telephonically.

He could also not explain why he was still listed as a director of SGL in November last year. By late yesterday, he was still listed as the company's director.

A search of the SA companies database published by Butterworth revealed he was appointed a director when the company was still a close corporation in May last year.

He said did not know anything about it.

Malema was adamant that he had not stolen from the poor.

"Nobody will tell me I stole from the poor, I have never done that.

"... For the record, those people (SGL) got tenders from the government of Sello Moloto who was opposed to me. If Moloto was given the opportunity to find any corrupt activity on me, he would have jailed me."

Malema said he was the victim of a conspiracy to discredit him.

"... Those who own the means of production and those who think the ANCYL will not support them for election and re-election into ANC leadership in 2012 have merged to discredit the leadership of the ANC Youth League," Malema said.

Malema said he lives on his ANC salary, which is "way more than R20000" and owns two properties, one in Polokwane worth R1million and another in Sandton worth R3,5million.

He said he was repaying a bond on the Sandton property.

Malema denied owning a Range Rover Sport or Aston Martin.

"I only own a Mercedes-Benz."