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.