“They keep saying Mazzotti this, Mazzotti that. They have got the power and authority. We never said Mazzotti must not be arrested. If there is evidence then the law must do what needs to be done and he should be arrested. I’m not protecting anyone.”
Many listeners who joined Kaya Drive with Sizwe this Tuesday were baffled by Julius Malema’s answer to the question about the Mazzotti funding his party received.
The CIC of the EFF defended his involvement in the funding that cigarette ‘smuggler’ Adriano Mazzotti donated to Malema’s party for registration ahead of the 2014 general elections.
But many wanted to know who Adriano Mazzotti is and why his dealings with the EFF were considered ‘shady’ as Sizwe pointed out.
The Italian businessman first made headlines after being linked to former president Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma political campaigns.
Adriano Mazzotti is the tobacco kingpin who made a name for himself for illegal cigarette smuggling and tax evasion after his company Carnilinx was under investigation by SARS.
In 2005, Mazzotti became the target of a massive SARS raid for suspicion of drug smuggling, but in classic Italian mafia-movie mode, no drugs were found.
Mazzotti then allegedly hired private investigators to find out who ordered the investigation into him. At the time he was said to be involved in multiple deals with the notorious drug dealer, aka ‘The Landlord” Glenn Agliotti.
So of course, his generous R200K cheque to Malema raised eyebrows of political corruption although there was the point about the amount being just a drop in the ocean for Mazotti.
In his interview with Sizwe Dhlomo, Malema said that if there was evidence that Mazzotti was guilty he would have been arrested and dealt with by the law. No arrests were made. Nothing came of the allegations and Malema was well aware of the money that came into his party because he would not accept blood money.
“We said that we are not involved in Adriano Mazzotti’s businesses. We don’t know what Mazzotti is up to but we knew where the money came from and we accepted it. Why is it that Mazzotti has never been investigated or charged for any crime? Because if there was something that SARS found, the law would have dealt with him. We knew this before we accepted any money. There is no blood money that came to the EFF.” – Julius Malema