Malema's business partner drops tax fight

2012-08-07 20:00
Lesiba Gwangwa Picture: Felix Dlangamandla, Foto24

Lesiba Gwangwa Picture: Felix Dlangamandla, Foto24

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The North Gauteng High Court has ordered Lesiba Gwangwa, a business partner of the embattled former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, to make himself available for questioning at a crucial inquiry into his tax affairs on Tuesday.

Gwangwa, 32, had approached the High Court to set aside the inquiry into 18 of his companies, some in which Malema still has a stake through the Ratanang Family Trust.

Malema resigned as director of these companies, but still benefits from On-Point through his Ratanang Family Trust’s shareholding in the company.

He withdrew the two court applications to set aside the inquiry on Tuesday but did not give reasons for doing so.

Gwangwa wanted the inquiry, which is probing 15 suspected breaches of the VAT Act and Income Tax Act by Gwangwa and his companies since 2005, to be set aside and had argued that the probe was, among others, unconstitutional.

It took Judge Ferdi Preller by surprise when Gwangwa’s lawyers informed him on Tuesday that their client had settled the matter out of court and had agreed to testify at the inquiry by the South African Revenue Service.

“I didn’t think this matter was capable of being settled. The order is made that he will testify and appear on Tuesday. So Advocate [Piet] Marais can continue with his inquiry,” said Preller.

Marais was one of the three respondents named by Gwangwa in his urgent application. Others included Gwangwa’s former accountant Seraj Ravat and the Sars commissioner.

'Frustrate the Sars investigation'

Sars attorney Nic Maritz SC told City Press that Gwangwa did not give any reasons for withdrawing his application, which the taxman was opposing as merely an “attempt to delay or frustrate the Sars investigation and specifically an attempt to prevent Sars in carrying out its duties”.

Gwangwa has been fighting the taxman since May this year when he first approached the High Court to have the inquiry set aside, based on the refusal by Marais, the presiding officer in the Sars inquiry, to provide him with a copy of Ravat’s testimony and Gwangwa’s exclusion from Ravat’s testimony.

During his testimony in April, Ravat told Marais that he had received threatening telephone calls and that if he continued to testify in the presence of Gwangwa he would not feel safe and he would not be “frank” in his testimony.

This prompted Marais to instruct Gwangwa and his legal team to leave the inquiry until Ravat had completed his testimony, which angered Gwangwa.

In its opposing affidavit, Sars senior manager in tax and customs enforcement investigations Pieter Engelbrecht, contended that Gwangwa had a strong case to answer.

The charges include tax evasion.

Engelbrecht had contended in court papers that Gwangwa’s application was not urgent and that Gwangwa was not entitled to a copy of Ravat’s testimony.

“Simply put [Gwangwa] is non-compliant. The investigation is necessary and has already yielded results and the applicant is attempting to frustrate Sars in its investigation by relying on vague and unsubstantiated allegations,” said Engelbrecht.

Attempts to reach Gwangwa were unsuccessful.

Read more on:    sars  |  julius malema  |  lesiba gwangwa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
47 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
Investment tips you need to know 2015-01-29 14:07

Ever wondered how to assess your future potential liability? Feroz Basa, Senior Portfolio Manager Old Mutual Investment Group, weighs in on all the investment tips you need to know. WATCH.

/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

QR2554Retail Planner

Western Cape
Quantum Recruitment

Surgical sales Representative

Western Cape
MKD Recruitment
R19 000 - R28 000 Per Month

National Corporate Chains Manager

Western Cape
Express Employment Services - Cape Town
R660 000 - R750 000 Per Year

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Games on Sale!

Save up to 60% on selected games. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come back into focus. You may get a second chance to say what needs to be said. The important focus today is to not...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.