Malema denies VBS slush fund

EFF leader Julius Malema has denied benefiting from funds stolen from VBS Mutual Bank.
EFF leader Julius Malema has denied benefiting from funds stolen from VBS Mutual Bank.
Image: Alaister Russell

Julius Malema has rubbished allegations that he used money siphoned off from VBS Mutual Bank to fund his lavish lifestyle.

An article, published on electronic print publication Daily Maverick, alleges that in July 2018 the EFF leader used the bank card of Mahuna Investments to bankroll R900,000 on clothing items and lodges.

The article says Malema spent R27,094 at Gucci and Le Coq Sportif in Sandton City, R30,860 at the Durban July, R11,560 at the Hampshire Hotel in Ballito, R416,900 at the Polokwane party venue Mekete Lodge, and R149 at Nando’s in Vryburg.

Mahuna is owned by Malema's cousin Matsobane Phaleng.

The report alleges that Sgameka Projects, owned by EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu's brother Brian funnelled of R5.3-million of the R16.1-million it illegally received as payment from VBS to Mahuna.

It also says that VBS bank statements show that Sgameka Projects paid a total of R4.8-million in several tranches to Mahuna Investments.

The article further alleges that the money from Mahuna also went towards paying Malema’s eldest son’s school fees, the Munzhedzi Family trust named after his middle son, his house and pool in Sandown, tailored suits, a popular Polokwane party venue Mekete Lodge, the EFF’s birthday celebrations, and Malema’s own political campaigning.

It adds that the alleged VBS loot was spent in Durban and Ballito during the Durban July in 2017 and 2018, on the EFF’s fifth birthday bash close to East London, the 2018 land debate in North West, as well as in Seshego and Polokwane on numerous occasions, including Malema’s grandmother’s birthday in 2017 and during Christmas and New Year in 2017 and 2018.

The article says that Phaleng’s public social media accounts, as well as those of his associates, do not suggest that he was at the same locations when and where the money from the Mahuna business card was spent while Mahuna's bank card appeared to be used where Malema was.

Responding to the allegations, Malema said: "I'm not using Mahuna's money. Mahuna never received money from VBS.

"Mahuna received money from Sgameka and therefore Mahuna never got any money from VBS…"

Malema said his cousin, Phaleng, used the R500 000 from Mahuna to finance a commercial venture at the the glamorous Durban July horse-racing event.

"It's alleged (the R500 000) is spent by me but it's not true. My brother (cousin) runs a marquee at the Durban July; they sell a corporate ticket at R70 000 per ticket… and then they sell alcohol and they sell food in that thing and they hire DJs. They make people pay money. So it's like somebody went to eat R500 000 at the Durban July. They put that money written Durban July because they procure marquee, sell the corporate tickets and make money out of it (sic)," he told a group of reporters.

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