December 3, 2018 9:08 am
PRETORIA – While businessman Adriano Mazzotti has confirmed that Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s family lives in a property he owns, he’s told Eyewitness News that the arrangement is above board and he is not the politician’s benefactor.
In 2013, Mazzotti donated R200,000 to the EFF while recently his fellow director at cigarette manufacturer Carnilinx, Kyle Phillips, advanced a loan of R1 million to Malema to help him settle his tax affairs.
The EFF and its leaders have come under significant scrutiny in recent weeks after it emerged that senior members may have benefitted from funds syphoned out of the collapsed VBS Mutual Bank, allegations the party denies.
Mazzotti says there is an arm’s length lease agreement, managed by an independent leasing agent through which Malema’s wife Mantwa rents the Hyde Park property from him.
He says the property is rented at a market-related price. However, he would not disclose how much the family was paying.
The house is estimated to be worth R7 million while rentals in the area range from R35,000 to over R100,000 per month.
It’s understood that while Malema’s wife and his children live at the property permanently, it’s understood Malema only stays there when he is in Johannesburg as he has a state residence in Goodwood, Cape Town.
Mazzotti is at pains to stress that neither he nor his company, Carnilinx are in any way benefactors of Malema or the EFF.
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) December 3, 2018
He says that he and Malema have a long-standing friendship and considering the upcoming elections, he believes it’s unfair that this friendship should be scrutinised and reported on in a negative manner.
Malema declined to answer specific questions related to the Hyde Park property or the arrangement with Mazzotti.
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)
Categorised in: South Africa