Apartheid hitman faces wrath of SARS

2011-05-28 16:10

Former apartheid hit squad member Calla Botha faces the wrath of the SA Revenue Services and it could cost him between R10 million and R15 million of his personal fortune.

Botha, who was implicated in the killings of both Wits academic David Webster and Swapo leader Anton Lubowski, and who admitted to setting off a bomb in Cape Town, could also face criminal charges for tax evasion and failure to pay VAT.

Botha has convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti to thank for his tax woes. The SARS investigation was triggered after a December 2006 affidavit by Agliotti implicated him in alleged criminal activities.

Agliotti testified in Botha’s SARS hearing.

Agliotti himself has been the target of a SARS investigation and he was recently informed that he owed R78 million in unpaid tax.

Botha, who was a member of the covert Civil Co-operation Bureau (CCB) hit squad in the 1980s, has been hauled in front of SARS to ­declare and explain the income from 26 companies and closed corporations he owns, controls or in which he holds shares.

Botha refused to answer questions, saying City Press had no legal right to publish any details regarding the SARS inquiry. He added that much of our information was mere speculation or untrue.

In his affidavit, Botha said he lived on the poverty line and believed that SARS was persecuting him for his CCB activities as part of an ongoing conspiracy by the government.

However, City Press understands that Botha lives in a lavish house in Krugersdorp, had access to a helicopter and a villa on the banks of the Vaal River and drove a luxury BMW with personalised number plates.

One of his companies, Black Hawk Security, boasted on its ­website that it owned a luxury lodge situated two hours from ­Johannesburg.

As the CEO of Black Hawk Security he described himself on the website as having “vast experience in combating terrorism”.

He said he had “worked with government covert organisations” like the Security Branch and Special Forces over a long period.

Botha claims to have a BA degree in psychology and an MBA.

City Press couldn’t find any proof that Botha was a university graduate.

He said at the Truth Commission that he had studied education but didn’t complete his studies.

SARS enquiries are held in camera but Botha laid bare his tax problems when he brought an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court in March in an effort to cancel a warrant for his arrest obtained by SARS.

The judge found that the warrant should be cancelled on condition that Botha appeared in front of SARS, which he did.

Botha said in his March affidavit that he had submitted three tax ­returns in the last 21 years. The last one was in 2001, shortly after which SARS demanded R467 000.

He said he couldn’t pay it, and the amount increased to more than R1 million. SARS then obtained a civil judgment against Botha but he had not paid the fine and had no property registered in his name.

Botha said in his affidavit he was a “dedicated member” of the former security forces and never foresaw he would be “on the streets” and struggling to survive.

He said several of the CCB members he had worked with had died under “mysterious circumstances” and he therefore refused to provide them with his residential address, which SARS was “obsessed” with obtaining.

City Press is not aware of any former CCB members dying ­mysterious deaths.

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