On Wednesday, ex-convict-turned-politician, Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton Mckenzie, wrote an open letter to the Commander-in-Chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema accusing him of hypocrisy and preying on destitute people for his own political gain. Mckenzie claimed that Malema’s intention is to bankrupt the country. Mckenzie asks Malema to refrain from calling himself a revolutionary as his lavish lifestyle contradicts it. “Julius, you and I are not ‘revolutionaries’. We both know that. We both shop at the same Louis Vuitton and Gucci shops. We both have watches worth hundreds of thousands. We wear more money on our wrists than a miner at Marikana will ever hold in his hands. This week you had the audacity to say that you wear Louis Vuitton to “inspire” the poor. But the poor get nothing out of you wearing flashy clothes,” he writes.
Surprisingly, Mckenzie is a businessman, motivational speaker and politician who, in the past, was a bank robber and gang leader. He claims to be “repaying” his debts to the society. The man rejects that he had benefited from any government, tenders or BEE deals. However, one of the weekend newspapers, earlier this year, reported that Mckenzie and his cronies were given R330 million by the Goldfields Mine.
Malema has not yet responded in writing but has responded to some radio interviews accusing Mckenzie of being an attention-seeker who wants to be on the media spotlight. Speaking to Redi Tlhabi on 702 Talk Radio, Malema said that all the issues raised by Mckenzie had already been dealt with, so there’s nothing to respond because “the man has plagiarised what is being said on the media”.
Malema believes that Mckenzie’s letter is an electioneering strategy because no-one knows what the man represents. Both political parties aim to persuade the public to vote for their political parties on May 7 general elections.
Malema, a former ANCYL leader, was expelled from the ruling party in 2012 for sowing divisions and bringing the party into disrepute. He then started the Economic Freedom Fighters.
He faces fraud and corruption charges related to a R52 million contract awarded to On-Point Engineering. The State alleged that Malema substantially benefited from the tender payment to On-Point, using it to buy a farm and a Mercedes Benz.
It said Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust was an indirect shareholder in On-Point. His case is due to be heard in September in the High Court in Polokwane.
In March, The Star reported that charges against four of his alleged business associates had been dismissed. Malema had made representation to the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) to have the charges against him dropped. The NDPP is yet to make a decision.
Malema is also trying to settle his tax bill with the SA Revenue Service (SARS) to avoid being barred from Parliament.
On February 10, Malema was provisionally sequestrated by the High Court in Pretoria. Malema and anyone else who did not want the order to be made final had until 10am on May 26 to give reasons as to why this should not happen.
The big question that leaves us with no response however, is the timing of the Mckenzie’s letter and why Malema is still being judged for his past if Mckenzie was able to turn from his criminal acts into a (would-be) one-day hero.
There are still unanswered questions regarding Mckenzie’s wealth especially after we know that he robbed banks. So who’s the hypocrite here?
Tell us. Tweet at #LiveVIPZA
Read the open letter here
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