Malema's home auctioned for R5.9m

09 May 2013

The half-built mansion in Sandown, Johannesburg, belonging to expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema has been sold for R5.9 million on auction.The buyer, Norman Tloubatla, CEO of the company Magnified Designs, left shortly after clinching the purchase and he refused to speak to reporters.

Auctioneer Pieter Geldenhuys said the auction for the three-storey property went exceptionally well. "It actually exceeded my expectations."

He said he expected the property to sell for between R4 million and R4.5 million. Much more needed to be spent to complete the house, which would be the best in the neighbourhood, he said.

The fact that the house previously belonged to Malema played a role in the interest shown.

"Without a doubt. I must say this specific property drew a lot of interest, even internationally."

The house was sold in less than a hour. Geldenhuys started the bidding at R5 million, but no one was interested. He joked about the bidders all looking down, saying: "It doesn't matter where we start, it's where we end."

The price was then dropped to R2 million before the first bidder raised a hand. The home was attached by a court to help cover Malema's tax bill. He owes the SA Revenue Service (Sars) R16 million. Malema bought the property in 2009 for R3.6 million.

He had the existing structure torn down and began building his own mansion. The plans provide for a private cinema room, a cigar lounge, a pool and a spa bath, a wine cellar, a coffee bar, and a lift. There is also a "song room". However, it has no fittings, flooring, plumbing or windows yet.

On March 19, the former African National Congress Youth League leader had his Limpopo farm, worth approximately R4 million, seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit. National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Medupe Simasiku said at the time that the property was allegedly acquired with the proceeds from fraud, corruption, theft, and money laundering. The alleged crimes were perpetrated against the Limpopo department of roads and transport, Simasiku said. Alternatively, the property had been used to launder money.

In January, the sheriff seized Malema's Sandown and Polokwane homes. Sars rejected a R4 million settlement offer on the homes in February.

Malema also faces charges of fraud and racketeering related to the irregular awarding of a R52 million tender to On-Point Engineering in Limpopo. -Sapa

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