Tue Mar 03 05:05:54 CAT 2015

Items seized as Juju begins to get the chop

Feb 4, 2013 | AMOS MANANYETSO, NGWAKO MALATJI and MZWANDILE kaBIZOKWAKHE |

THE beginning of the end for the high life of the once powerful ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema is nigh after the South African Revenue Service (Sars) began to chip away at his wealth, piece by piece.

HARD TIMES AHEAD: Expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has much to ponder. Picture by Reuters

Last Monday morning the Sheriff of the court embarrassed the once-feared Juju, as he is affectionately known to his supporters, when he went to Malema's rented Sandton house to remove his valuables.

Then on Tuesday Sars applied for the sequestration of Malema and the case has been set down for February 27.

And this is the result of just one of many multi-pronged probes by the country's elite law enforcement agencies into Malema's financial affairs.

Sources close to the action say Malema's sumptuous groceries were left on the floor as the sheriff loaded the fridge and other valuables onto a waiting truck.

Among other items understood to have been removed from the house are expensive furniture pieces, Persian rugs and top-notch, single-malt whiskies.

It is expected that both Malema's supporters and foes will elbow each other when an auction to dispose of these assets is held in Braamfontein soon.

Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay confirms that Juju's house was cleaned out and that this is just a warm-up exercise as Sars is owed in excess of R16m by the besieged Limpopo politician.

As the seized items cannot raise the amount Malema owes, Sars might have to grab more assets, including his houses, farms and cars.

"The assets have been seized by the Sheriff. It is now under the authority of a curator, who is appointed by the court to dispose of the assets through auction," says Lackay, adding that the order was granted by the Pretoria High Court.

"It was part of the order granted to us in December last year," he says.

"I can also confirm that we filed an application for the sequestration of Mr Malema.

"This is done when we believe that monies recovered through the sale of the attached property will not be enough."

Lackay adds that many inferences have been drawn from Sars' action.

"We are not involved in politics; every time Sars acts against a high profile taxpayer, people make assumptions.

"Sars has been in discussions with Mr Malema to help get his tax affairs in order since 2009 but that has not been effective.

"We have applied the same laws in the Dave King matter.

"Sars cannot be involved in political issues," he says.

Malema, meanwhile, refuses to comment.

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