Malema: Don't compare me with Jacob Zuma

In an interview with eNCA's Vuyo Mvoko, the EFF leader talks about encouraging members to buy bakkies, and claims of corruption levelled against him.

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, says he shouldn't be compared with former President Jacob Zuma. 

The former president is facing charges relating to his alleged corrupt relationship with French arms manufacturer Thales.

Last month, Zuma lost his appeal to have his corruption charges dismissed, with costs. 

READ: Malema: I run a tight ship, no room for opportunists

The EFF leader, too, has reportedly been linked to corruption in Limpopo, but the National Prosecuting Authority has not charged him in this case.  

He's alleged to have benefited from Limpopo government funds via his family's Ratanang Trust. 

According to News24, Malema held an indirect shareholding in On-Point Engineering, a company that was awarded a R50-million tender by the Limpopo Transport Department in 2009. On-Point reportedly sat on the bid evaluation committee that decided who would be awarded the tenders. 

The NPA's charge sheet  in 2012 stated that the Ratanang Trust received money from On-Point and an On-Point service provider. 

The criminal case was struck from the roll in 2015. 

SARS did, however, order Malema to pay R16-million for income that he failed to declare. 

READ: NPA charges Malema for allegedly shooting a firearm

In an interview with eNCA's Vuyo Mvoko, Malema says he's being targeted. 

“I am wearing a crown of thorns from On-Point time in Limpopo. The aim is not to convict me or take me to prison. They just throw mud at me and leave me like that so that I cannot champion the cause of anti-corruption and the cause of anti-monopoly capital in South Africa. That’s the whole idea."

Malema says he hasn't been charged but is forced to walk around "with a dark cloud hanging over me".

Meanwhile, Disgruntled EFF members have previously accused their commander-in-chief of preaching one thing but practising another.

He's driven around in expensive cars, while the party forces its representatives to use bakkies to do constituency work.

Malema maintains there's nothing wrong with his lifestyle and says party members are discouraged from displaying opulence "in the face of the poor masses of our people".

“As long as the accumulation [of wealth] is not done through crooked means and [you are not] stealing from the poor …”