Why me? Julius Malema fumes at questions over his lifestyle

09 December 2019 - 17:04 By ZINGISA MVUMVU

EFF leader Julius Malema has slammed critics who question his taste for the good life while claiming to represent the poor.

Speaking to TimesLIVE, Malema said the criticism was unfair as it was directed only to him. He said many ANC leaders also lived in upmarket suburbs and no one questioned them while he is selectively questioned for living in Sandton.

He said everyone who voted for the EFF knew of his expensive tastes and continued to support him because his lifestyle did not mean that he is not committed to fighting for the poor.

Malema said he acquired his expensive tastes from "our leaders", mentioning several former ANC heavyweights who have never been criticised or questioned about where they live.

"Mandela stayed in Houghton, Thabo Mbeki stays in Houghton and Kgalema Motlanthe stays in Houghton - but no one has ever doubted their commitment to fight for the poor because of where they stay," he said.

"There are rules for certain people and different rules for the hated ones. I will not accept that. There is nothing I am doing that our leaders, who are loved - [by] rich and poor - have not done. I am following in their footsteps."

Malema said he was puzzled that questions over his lifestyle persisted when "it is not a secret that I wear Louis Vuitton and Gucci".

"I buy those things with my own money, not government money, and have never said to anyone - media and the electorate - that I do not wear Louis Vuitton," he said.

"I have never said, 'I stay in Alexandra, vote for me.' I have never said, 'Vote for me because, like Thomas Sankara, I am riding a bike.' They voted for me knowing that I stay in Sandton."