Malema sequestration postponed again

By Drum Digital
01 December 2014

The provisional sequestration order against Economic Freedom Fighters' leader Julius Malema regarding his outstanding tax bill has been extended to next year.

The High Court in Pretoria on Monday postponed the matter to March 16.

"The court order was granted today by mutual agreement between Sars and the taxpayer [Malema] to allow for the settlement agreement to be finalised," SA Revenue Service spokesman Adrian Lackay said.

In August, Malema denied media reports that alleged cigarette smuggler Adriano Mazzotti was helping him pay his tax bill. At the time there were reports that Sars was investigating the source of his tax debt repayments.

Lackay on Monday would not comment on this.

"Sars's position is that the legal process must continue before court. Sars will not make further public statements on the matter at this stage," he said.

In February, Judge Bill Prinsloo ordered that Malema's estate be provisionally sequestrated. In May and again in August, his provisional sequestration was extended and the matter was postponed.

Malema previously admitted he had not attended to his tax affairs the way the law required. According to court papers, Malema owed Sars R16 million, plus interest, after failing to submit tax returns between 2006 and 2010.

In 2010 Sars contacted Malema about his failure to submit tax returns. It took Malema 18 months, after many attempts by Sars, to file his outstanding returns.

Malema had failed to register his Ratanang Family Trust for tax purposes, and Sars had to do this on his behalf. Ratanang is the name of Malema's young son.

Sars attached some of Malema's property, including a farm in Limpopo and a house still under construction in Johannesburg, to recoup some of the taxes he owed.

A final sequestration order could affect Malema's political career, as he would no longer be allowed to serve as an MP.

-SAPA

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