12 May 2013 | SOMAYA STOCKENSTROOM and NKULULEKO NCANA | 0 Comments
JULIUS Malema brushed off the auction of his Sandown dream house and partied up a storm at the Samas last Friday night.Malema told Sunday World that rumours that he knew or was associated with Norman Tloubatla - the man who splurged nearly R6m on the incomplete Sandown mansion - were incorrect.
"I don't know this man (Tloubatla)," Malema said.
He also rejected rumours that friends were rallying to buy his assets - being sold off by SARS to settle outstanding taxes - in order to return them to him.
The former youth league leader arrived at The Shebeen in Sun City on Friday night and was still going strong at 5.30am when the Sunday World team called it a night.
Malema walked around posing for pictures with his friends and fans. He was with his former deputy Ronald Lamola.
Shwashwi reports that: "Malema has clearly not lost his popularity as he grabbed the attention of girls in bum shorts and weaves, who took snaps on their smartphones."
Tloubatla, on the other hand, has tried to keep a low profile since emerging as the highest bidder for Malema's Sandown house.
The 44-year-old CEO of Magnified Designs has several companies registered in his name, from electrical to real estate businesses.
He has engaged a lawyer and has refused to answer several questions relating to claims made by associates that paint a negative picture of Tloubatla.
John Tibane, owner of Zevoli Auctioneers, of which Tloubatla is a director, says he took the businessman on as his partner between 2009 and 2010.
"He never invested any money in the business, but he convinced me that he could bring in profitable business. I know the guy from the location in Jozi. I trusted him. But after several months nothing was happening," says Tibane. But Tloubatla allegedly refused to resign. Tibane says Tloubatla de-registered the company.
"I was angry. I then, through my accountant, had to re-register the business. But when papers came back it still reflected his name. I called him but he had changed his number. I just left it alone from there. The company now reflects as active but it's not trading. I'll never do business with him again," says Tibane.
A close associate of Tloubatla's, who prefers anonymity, says he is nothing but a "cheap boaster".
"He likes to flash. He says he has all these connections and businesses but I don't see it. He's the kinda guy who drinks blue label whisky, entertains at his Dainfern home and spends many nights at a Sandton hotel which costs like R5000 per night. He doesn't hang out with any politicians that I know of. He gets tenders and fronts for business people. But nothing he says surprises me," says the associate.
A prominent Limpopo lawyer, who practises out of Pretoria and has represented some leading public figures including a known Malema ally, says he knows Tloubatla.
"All I know is that he's always been a hustler. He was older than my age group when we grew up but we've always known that he was a 'clever' from Zone 2. He later went to Joburg and when I started practising, I heard he was running businesses in Joburg."
A former employee at Magnified Designs describes Tloubatla as a bully.
"I have a case pending at the CCMA after I was unfairly dismissed. The people who work for him fear him. He is rude and abusive. He has R5.9-million for Julius's house but he can't pay his staff," alleged the ex-employee.
Several sources who spoke to the Sunday World claimed Tloubatla and Malema were close associates.
"Their homes in Seshego are about three kilometers from each other. It's a known fact here in Polokwane that they are friends," said one.
It is still unclear why Tloubatla spent almost double the anticipated price for the incomplete Sandown mansion. But it is alleged that the purchase of the mansion is part of a plan by Malema's associates who benefited from his alleged patronage, to buy back his attached properties for him.
"This is just the beginning. Word has it that there is already another close person to him who will buy the farm that was attached," said a source.
Both Malema and Tloubatla have rubbished these claims. When his house was auctioned on Thursday, Malema tweeted: "I'm all smiles, I've deep feeling of hope & I know that life is a blessing. They will never capture my soul&my ideas. I remain resolute, salute."
Tloubatla, through his lawyer Carl Gjersoe, refused to respond to pointed questions from the Sunday World.
"Our client is currently considering his legal rights in regard to the comments already published and intends instituting legal proceedings against any party that continues to and/or commences to publish and/or make defamatory and/or harmful and/or scandalous and/or inaccurate statements about him," read the statement.\