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Malema defends his wife's right to rent house from Mazzotti

Julius Malema
Julius Malema
Image: Alon Skuy

EFF leader Julius Malema has responded to the controversy surrounding the house he rents in Hyde Park, Johannesburg. Malema told a press conference on Tuesday that his wife Mantwa was the one renting the property from controversial alleged cigarette smuggler Adriano Mazzotti.

Media reports last week revealed that Malema's family was living in an estate owned by Mazzotti who is the director of cigarette manufacturing company Carlinix.

Malema said Mantwa has a rental contract with Mazzotti. “Now my wife goes and rents. She’s got a whole contract and all of those. The best business to support is to support the business you know,” he said.

He said the criticism was because of who she had chosen to rent from. "If I had gone to Pam Golding or she had gone to Pam Golding there was not going to be an issue so we can’t have that. Let her stay where she wants to stay.”

Malema said his family was forced into renting after his houses were auctioned off. “Let her stay where she wants to stay. If [convicted drug dealer Glen] Agliotti owns she must go and rent if she wants to rent there. She is not Agliotti and she is not involved with Agliotti mos. She is not involved in anything that Mazzotti does. She is renting there,” Malema told journalists.

The leader of the Red Berets defended his wife’s ability to fend for her family. The politician told members of the media that Mantwa has her own academic qualifications and family money.

He said rent for the Hyde Park property was not paid from his parliamentary salary. “I am not the one who is renting.Nna I stay here at Acacia Park [Cape Town]. I am not renting anything. An educated woman who used to work and has her own wealth from her own family, she is now being asked … They are not even asking her; they are asking me how do I afford that. I don’t do anything for her. She is an independent woman. She does her own things. Worse she went to school… She is in finance and not in history… She is a financial planner.”

Malema said he had reported strange cars that have been spotted around his house since the publishing of his family address. He said he had reported the incidents to the police while threatening to “shoot to kill” anyone who poses a danger to his family.

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