Julius Malema, a revolutionary South African opposition politician, has claimed that president Jacob Zuma is a "monster who must be defeated and removed from office" in next month's presidential election.

Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, condemned Zuma for undermining the South African constitution by refusing to repay £14 million of taxpayers' money used to renovate his luxury private home.

"We cannot continue to have a government that has no regard for the constitution," said Malema.

"He has effectively rendered that institution useless, and when you render such an institution useless, you render the constitution useless," he continued.

Denying claims that he wears £15,000 Breitling watches, Malema told The Times that he has "never owned a Breitling - the watches were always borrowed to me".

On his party's political position, Malema says he is trying to appeal to the lowers classes and those "in a pool of poverty".

"We are contesting to reposition the Left as relevant to politics in South Africa. We are fighting for our children. We don't want them to be like us and swim in a pool of poverty.

"Our struggle is not to go and live with our people in the shacks. Our struggle is to take the people out of the shacks and give them a better life. The question of where I stay and how I dress is immaterial," he added.

Malema, 33, wears a beret and sees Cuba's Fidel Castro and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe as his political idols.

He founded the EFF party after being sacking as the head of the Zuma's African National Congress (ANC) Youth League in 2011.

President Zuma has been criticised for accepting a £14m state-funded makeover of his private home featuring a swimming pool, cattle enclosure and amphitheatre.

"The president tacitly accepted the implementation of all measures at his residence and has unduly benefitted from the enormous capital investment in the non-security installations at his private residence," South Africa's top anti-corruption watchdog said in a report.