JULIUS Malema has blamed the government companies register, a smear campaign run by leftist ANC officials and "unethical" journalists for "unfounded" media reports that he says have placed his life and that of his family in danger, write Xolani Mbanjwa and Shaun Smillie in The Star.

Addressing the media at Luthuli House in Joburg on Monday, the ANC Youth League leader angrily suggested that criminals would now target him after weekend reports about his lifestyle.

"You come here and make allegations. And you put my child at risk, and my child can be kidnapped because I've got R140-million and people will demand R10 million from me because I've got R140-million," said Malema.

He claimed never to have seen a million rands and that his bank balance had never reflected such an amount. Malema spent nearly two hours trashing some in the media for allegedly plotting his demise.

He told reporters he had instructed his lawyers to remove him as director in all four companies in May 2008 after he was elected ANCYL leader.

But he could not provide written proof that he had indeed been deregistered, and he could not explain why he had registered another company on December 5, 2009 – more than a year after he claimed to have walked away from his companies.

Sars's Adrian Lackay said, however, that the names of all the people who might be probed as part of its lifestyle audits would be divulged only if the matter landed up in court.

Lackay could not say whether Malema would be audited as this would "defeat the entire purpose of lifestyle audits".

Malema's tirades against the media brought cheers from ANCYL members who crowded the lobby floor. He said he was considering taking legal action against newspapers, including The Star, for publishing articles about his apparently affluent lifestyle.

Click here to read the full report, posted on iol.co.za.