The winner, Emmanuel Makhokha, arrived early in an ANC jacket and spent time chatting to the media and friends. But when the bidding started he did not once waiver from trumping any competitor's bid.
The auctioneer, Aggie Stroh, said he had never seen this level of interest for a house auction in Polokwane. "He's a local boy so there has been a lot of interest from people here and media from Johannesburg," he said.
The collection of bidders was cosmopolitan, but all of them thought the abode would go for around R1.2-million. "It's a small house, so that has to be the maximum," said one while chatting to friends. When their conversation turned to Malema and the other houses he owned, there was laughter at his "misfortune".
Stroh took 20 minutes to read through the rules and regulations of the auction. "This is not Johannesburg so there are people maybe bidding for their first home, so I have to explain simply," he said.
He started bidding at an ambitious R1.5-million. Nobody showed any interest until he dropped down to R600 000. Then a flurry of bids from several people took it to R1-million. After that, only two remained raising their yellow bidding cards.
But Makhokhakept his card up the whole time, making it clear that he was going to bid irrespective of the price. His chief opponent gave up at R1.45-million and Makhokhaturned to hug the small group he arrived with.
It's not about Malema
Then, unlike in the auction for Malema's Sandown mansion, Makhokha fielded questions from any journalist who wanted to ask something.
"This is not about Malema. My company wants a second office and this is a good place," he said.
He did say that he was a member of the ANC, but declined to comment about politics to the assembled media.
A local of nearby Vhembe, Makhokhanow works in Polokwane. He purchased the house in his company's name, Khoza Development Properties, which does town planning.
Malema's property has been seized and is being auctioned off to pay the R16-million that he owes the South African Revenue Service. A farm north of Polokwane owned by the founder of the Economic Freedom Fighters and ex-ANC Youth League president was recently sold for R2.5-million.
Malema's Sandown mansion in Johannesburg was auctioned off for R5.9-million.