Malema shuts fuel station pumps over debit glitch: Attendant mistakenly bills R37000 instead of R370


A fuel service station has been shutdown for a day by EFF leader Julius Malema over nonpayment of a refund.


On Sunday, an attendant mistakenly punched R37000 instead of R370 for a fuel payment done by Malema’s worker who was driving his car. This incident took place at Tweefontein Total garage in Polokwane. The filling station agreed to refund the difference by Monday, but the bank delayed the payment and it wasnt paid upto Wednesday.


Malema arrived at the service station in a 4×4 white doublecab Toyota Bakkie, escorted by bodyguards and a group of men and they demanded his refund payment to be done immediately said the petrol station manager Barbara Lloyd.


“One of the workers at the Mekete Lodge and Water Park came to put a fuel of R370 on Sunday. Then our petrol attendant mistakenly typed R37,000 and the transaction was processed as such,” she said.


Lloyd said the problem was solved that very same day and the refund was done through the bank.


“The money was supposed to be paid back on Monday but it didn’t happen and we called the bank on Tuesday and they cited public holiday for the delay. We admit it’s our mistake but we didn’t expect a political leader to order a closure of our business and it’s unfair,” she said. After Malema had stopped the attendants from working and turned all the cars away, Lloyd called the police.


“The man who works at the park (Mekete Lodge) came on Tuesday and told me that Malema wants his money back. I explained that the bank was delaying the process and he left, before I knew it, Malema came with his bodyguards and several men, and told me together with petrol attendants that no-one is going to work until his money is paid,” Lloyd said.


The manager said the business lost R50 000 for that day due to this issue and they had done their best to resolve it immediately. In a video footage that Sowetan has seen, Malema, who was dressed in black came out of the vehicle wearing a mask before he could be seen pointing fingers at the attendances and he spent at least 40 minutes walking around gesturing with his hands before he left with another man. Tags that were used to unlock the service station petrol pumps had been taken and they have not yet returned two of them. The police came but did nothing much to open the business.


Malema reserved his comment concerning this issue. EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo told Sowetan he could not comment until he had spoken to Malema.


Another attendant said that Malema asked them not to work and asked the manager not to fire the attendant who had made a mistake.


“He said if he comes back and find that the petrol attendant has been fired he would shut it down again. He came with three bodyguards and four men believed to be his workers at the lodge and occupied the petrol pumps so that no one could fill up their cars,” said the attendant who asked to be unknown.

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