JZ’s nephew, son in Sars probe link

2014-02-23 14:00

President Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward, and his nephew, Khulubuse, have been linked to alleged organised crime figures now under investigation by a special SA Revenue Service (Sars) unit.

The two were directors of companies under investigation for tax evasion and possibly fraud and money laundering – all believed to have been committed while they were appointed to senior positions. Although they are not suspected to have known about the alleged wrongdoing, they are believed to have been appointed as “political insurance” should the companies be investigated.

But while the probes are under way, a war has broken out between Sars and the suspected tax dodgers, with claims and counter-claims of spying, illegal phone tapping, business robbery, trespassing and harassment.

City Press has learnt that the company that Edward Zuma served as director of has laid criminal charges against investigators from Sars’ elite Tax and Customs Enforcement Investigations (TCEI) unit.

City Press understands that these complaints are being personally managed by the country’s most senior detective, Lieutenant General Vineshkumar Moonoo.

The TCEI was established to tackle organised crime and has handled cases involving EFF leader Julius Malema, Ponzi scheme mastermind Barry Tannenbaum, and Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir.

Khulubuse Zuma is a director of Aurora Empowerment Systems, the mining company accused of stripping two mines and destroying 5?300 jobs.

He served as director with Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Zondwa, and President Zuma’s lawyer Michael Hulley. Aurora has already been liquidated.

Sars has launched an investigation into the gold income of the shareholders and allegations of tax evasion and money laundering. The Hawks are also investigating the case.

Through a spokesperson, Khulubuse Zuma said he had no knowledge of the investigation “but stands ready to fully cooperate with Sars investigators”.

Edward Zuma, the president’s eldest son, is linked to the Sars investigation into controversial cigarette manufacturer Yusuf Kajee, CEO of Amalgamated Tobacco Manufacturing (ATM). The TCEI unit is probing Kajee and ATM for tax evasion, fraud and smuggling in a case involving hundreds of millions of rand.

ATM was previously known as Delta Tobacco, which has already been placed under liquidation. Edward Zuma was a director of ATM from around 2008 until November 2011, which covers a substantial period of the Sars investigation.

Sars raided ATM’s Pietermaritzburg factory last August, on suspicion that the premises were used to conduct human trafficking and store contraband tobacco.

Edward has been mired in financial controversy for years. He defaulted on repayments of two loans worth about R6?million from state bank Ithala.

Kajee and Edward Zuma remain business partners and the two are directors of Fastjet Holdings, which plans to offer low-cost flights in South Africa.

Neither Edward Zuma nor Kajee responded to requests for comment.

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