- EFF leader Julius Malema held a press conference today to answer questions related to VBS and other matters
- The EFF leader invited five journalists from different media houses
- Malema has continued to maintain he had nothing to do with the VBS looting
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EFF leader Julius Malema is today coming face-to-face with five of South Africa's top journalists to answer all questions related to the VBS Mutual Bank looting, On Point Engineering and more.
Malema began by explaining that he invited Pauli Van Wyk, the investigative journalist who has been leading the VBS story for over two years.
The EFF leader said Van Wyk made several excuses not to attend the briefing, claiming she was in Cape Town with family and could not travel due to the lockdown restrictions.
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However, speaking to Cape Talk, Van Wyk said she refuses to be part of Malema's PR exercise. Last year, the EFF leader banned several journalists from EFF pressers including the Daily Maverick, which Van Wyk works for.
Malema said he was arrested in Polokwane for On Point and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) kept postponing court appearances. Malema says he wanted his matter separated from those of others and eventually the judge struck the matter off the roll.
In 2019, the NPA decided to charge On Point Engineering and its three directors with tender fraud. Malema, whose Ratanang Family Trust was once linked to On Point Engineering, will not charged.
On the question of collapsing the Limpopo government, Malema asked how a R50 million tender (won by On Point) could collapse the Limpopo province which had a budget of R47 billion.
Malema said whether the tender was gotten rightfully or wrongly is a matter up to the courts. He says the intention was to vilify him.
"If I influenced the tender since I was not in government, who did I influence?"
This was regarding On Point. On VBS, he said he never engaged with VBS. He said he only knows Tshifhiwa Matodzi who he met through the Venda King.
Malema said they still support the protection of the survival of VBS as a black owned bank. He adds that "anyone who protects a black bank is being labelled as corrupt".
Malema said no politician has been subjected to lifestyle audits more than him, adding that SARS conducts constant lifestyle audits on him.
Malema defended his family and cousins, saying they have long been in business even before the existence of the EFF. He adds that he, himself, has some interest in the family business.
He adds that his brothers, Tshepo, for instance is a former leader of the Youth Communist League and engages in ethical business practices.
"From where I am, my family has done nothing wrong."
Briefly.co.za reported that the Hawks and the NPA are expecting to make a 'second wave of arrests' in the VBS loot saga.
"People are going to be arrested. Mayors, municipal officials and some politicians in the ANC."
The session got heated and Sam Maseko, SABC reporter, threatened to leave. Malema responded saying:
"If you have exhausted your issues, you can go."
EWN journalist, Mahlatse Mphahlele asked Malema to unban journalists that he banned last year, and the EFF leader refused, saying:
"They are criminals masquerading as journalists."
Malema then made an example about Ranjeni Munusamy who was allegedly paid by the secret service. At the Zondo Inquiry, it came to light that she and several others were paid to plant stories in the media.
"I told you about Ranjeni. Must you continue to be a journalist even if you receive money from the secret service?"
Malema said he has never been arrested by the Hawks for anything and has continued to maintain he has no involvement in the VBS looting.
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