Julius Malema on cabbages, tomatoes and a looming court battle
Former ANC Youth League firebrand Julius Malema, facing criminal prosecution and a R16m tax bill, says he is now treated like a leper by those who once supported him.
Speaking exclusively to M24i this week at his farm, recently attached by the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), outside of Polokwane in Limpopo, Malema spoke of his tax and court woes, his future and how he was treated by the ANC on whose stage he once took the spotlight.
“I have lost a lot of friends. I am one person who believes that those who leave you during difficult moments were never with you even before…,” he said.
“We’ve seen friends vacillating. We’ve seen friends bowing to the pressure of the enemy. We’ve seen friends speaking in tongues and some are even so ashamed to be seen with you in public because to them you look like you’ve got leprosy and some don’t even take your calls. If they do they are very impatient,” said Malema.
Malema has been out in the cold since his expulsion from the ANC by its national disciplinary committee in February last year.
His fate was finally sealed at the ANC’s Mangaung conference in December last year when President Jacob Zuma was re-elected and Malema’s sympathisers failed to win key positions.
Malema – who says he now grows cabbages, tomatoes and tends to his cattle – said he had prepared himself for the treatment he was experiencing as he had seen it happen to Zuma.
“I have seen people literally running away from President Zuma when he was in trouble. It is the people today who are projecting themselves as the most loyal people of President Zuma.
“That is why I will never be treated for stress or depression because I have anticipated this type of conduct especially from pretenders who just hijacked the train and not knowing where it came from and where it was going,” Malema said.
In the interview Malema was still upbeat with flashes of rhetoric to match his trademark red designer shoes, vibrant shirt and cream Boss pants, but he looked a different person to the beret-wearing militant he once projected.
He conceded that all was done and dusted for him in the youth league.
“Our problems started with the demand to change the ownership pattern in South Africa and people thought it was a joke they ridiculed it (and) comedians made jokes about it, but we soldiered on,” he said.
He said the ANC was controlled by big interests and took a swipe at the billionaire Rupert family whom he said had once referred to the youth league as a mosquito.
“People should have analysed it there that Capital runs the ANC and South Africa. And once they identified the youth league as an irritating mosquito they went to look for a ‘doom’ [insecticide]. Cyril Ramaphosa became a ‘doom’ and the ANC became a ‘doom’ to kill the ANC youth league out of the instructions of the Ruperts,” charged Malema.
Malema continued to protest his innocence in the face of a bevy of criminal charges including racketeering.
“Racketeering… it is a serious charge and to be classified like a mafia who runs a an illegal operation… They can’t charge druglords with such a serious charge but they charge me! I still want to understand,” he said.
He said his future was now in farming. He said even if he lost his farm their were traditional leaders who would give him land.
All he wished for was for rain so his vegetables would grow.