Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma
could face yet
another probe into his R246m taxpayer funded home upgrades, this time from the
The DA said on Friday it was confident the South African
Revenue Service (Sars) would investigate whether Zuma failed to pay tax on
non-security related upgrades.
Under the tax law Zuma the work - including a helipad,
swimming pool, amphitheatre, private clinic and visitors' centre - could be
seen as fringe benefits.
Although it is not clear what that Zuma's tax liability
might be, it is clear that the probe is yet another political liability for the
president just weeks before the election.
The 71-year-old will seek a second five-year term on 7 May.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela recently reported that
the additions were unlawful and called on Zuma to refund taxpayers.
He has refused to do that, saying he did not ask for the
upgrades, and has indicated he will comment on the findings in full only after
Sars refused to comment on whether a probe had been
opened, saying it could not publicly disclose any information about individual
Responding to the DA's request for an investigation the
authority said "the matter will be dealt with in the normal course of
duties" - indicating Zuma would get no special treatment.
"Sars will not be drawn into politics," a
spokesperson told AFP.
DA MP Tim Harris said he had "every confidence"
Sars would treat the matter fairly.
"We are talking about a government entity that has
proven itself to be not only rigorous but also independent," he told AFP.
"The income tax act is very clear, there is not
really much margin for wiggle room, so I think it is a technical issue rather
than a political one."
Zuma's spokesperson Mac Maharaj said any investigation
"will be handled by Sars on a confidential basis".