EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: ALON SKUY​
EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: ALON SKUY​

EFF leader Julius Malema’s family rents a home in a high-security Johannesburg estate owned by cigarette manufacturer Adriano Mazzotti‚ who says there is nothing untoward about the arrangement.

Eyewitness News (EWN) reported on Monday that Mazzotti‚ who has consistently denied allegations of being involved in cigarette smuggling‚ lives in the same estate in the upmarket suburb of Hyde Park.

Mazzotti is part-owner of cigarette manufacturing company Carnilinx‚ which previously donated R200‚000 to the EFF.

The Sunday Times reported in 2015 that court papers‚ related to a tax dispute between the red berets’ leader and the SA Revenue Service‚ revealed that Malema had informed Sars that Carnilinx director Kyle Phillips had loaned him R1m to help settle his tax bill.

Mazzotti told EWN there was nothing untoward about the arrangement and that Malema’s wife paid a market-related rent to live in his property.

Malema reportedly declined to answer specific questions.

The Sunday Times reported in October 2017 that the book‚ The President’s Keepers‚ by investigative journalist Jacques Pauw‚ said Mazzotti’s relationship with Malema was well-known. In an affidavit‚ the businessman said Carnilinx had made a “donation” of R200‚000 “towards a political party”. The affidavit referred to Malema and the EFF.

Malema‚ in an interview with the Sunday Times this year‚ was asked about the donation and whether he knew that it could be from the proceeds of crime.

“Nobody brought this to our attention when we were registering our party. When we were fighting Zuma they never cared to remind us that Zuma is being fought by a party that was formed by the proceeds of crime. You’re hypocritical‚” he said.

“We thank Mazzotti for having given us money‚ otherwise Zuma would still have been president of this country. No one would have given the EFF money to register because they would have been victimised by the Zuma government. Mazzotti was brave enough to say: ‘Here’s the money’.”