'Malema stealing from the poor by evading tax'

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema might be stealing from the poor through tax evasion, Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille said yesterday.

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema might be stealing from the poor through tax evasion, Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille said yesterday.

"It is extremely likely that Malema is stealing from the poor through tax evasion ... contrary to what he has been saying all along," De Lille said.

She said a whistleblower told her that neither Malema nor businesses linked to him were tax compliant.

"Which begs the question - how did SGL Engineering Projects manage to get Limpopo contracts worth R140million between 2007 and 2009? Though I guess that when you've got friends in the highest places in both Limpopo and the Presidency, the world is your oyster."

She said the country was faced with a bleak future "if these are the kinds of leaders we are grooming, leaders that have different rules for themselves than the rest of us, and who claim to be pro-poor, when in fact they are ransacking the poor".

De Lille lashed out at Malema's alleged tax evasion, saying his actions were not those of young lions but of "ruthless, dangerous vultures that are intent on stealing from the very young people they claim to represent".

The ID leader said she had submitted questions to the minister of cooperative governance asking for details of Malema's companies' tax status and whether they complied with tender requirements.

"When President Jacob Zuma answers questions in Parliament on March 18 I am going to ask him whether his proposed debate on morality will include the morality of government ministers and the ruling party benefiting financially from tenders," De Lille said.

The DA's Athol Trollip said if Malema had not submitted tax returns he should pay up immediately or be prosecuted for tax evasion.

City Press reported yesterday that Malema had not submitted tax returns since his election as ANCYL president two years ago, while none of his four companies were tax compliant. - Sapa

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