Juju comes out fighting over tax

2013-08-06 00:00

ECONOMIC Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has responded to the taxman’s disclosure of his tax affairs with an open letter entitled “A Fighter’s Response to SARS the Leviathan”.

In his response, the spokesperson for the SA Revenue Service, Adrian Lackay, advised Malema to just pay the R16 million that the taxman claims Malema owes. If the receiver’s court application to have Malema sequestrated succeeds, Malema would not be able to hold office for seven years in terms of the current Constitution.

The receiver on Friday took the unusual step of making public its tax negotiations with Malema because Malema alleged that a cabal of Afrikaners and Indians were targeting him for political reasons.

In his letter, he said: “There is an Afrikaner institutionalised political and racist onslaught against me due to the views I hold about the direction of our country.

“In addition to this, Mr Gordon’s [sic] [Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan] and Mr [Ivan] Pillay’s Indian clique took advantage of the situation and used it to settle political differences through manipulation of the noble institution in defence of their politically corrupt principal, [Jabob] Zuma, who has lost all moral legitimacy as a leader and citizen.”

Malema said while SARS disclosed his affairs, it chose to ignore his attempts to negotiate a settlement. He also suspects that SARS had leaked his details on previous occasions, based on accurate reporting in City Press on his affairs.

He said of his meetings with SARS, the former head, Oupa Magashula, and his former deputy, Pillay, had in a closed session told him “that Jacob Zuma had a similar SARS problem and they helped him with it”.

He alleges: “They both offered to help me with my tax matters because they have done it before with Zuma and other comrades. Pillay said they would do this also because both of them are comrades and that he in particular was from exile.”

Malema publicly challenged SARS “to expose any hidden asset which they discovered”, adding “there was never an attempt from me to restructure my assets so as to hide them from SARS. I have always been honest in disclosing my assets to them”.

He said SARS had not and would not find evidence that he had hid any asset from them.

“I want to categorically state that there is no need to spend more government resources as they have taken everything I have; that is — all of my assets!”

The EFF commander-in-chief said he tried to settle the R16 million debt that he is still contesting with a payment of R5 million, but was told he would be assisted if he compromised by agreeing he owed SARS R16 million.

Lackay said there was no specific secrecy in Malema’s case as all meetings between SARS and taxpayers are confidential.

He said the truth of Zuma’s taxes could be studied in the 2007 court papers in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

He said the main difference was that Zuma was willing and able to pay his debt.

He would have to learn to pay his taxes like everyone else in a constitutional democracy, Lackay said.

Malema concluded his long letter with: “Now or never victory is certain”.

He signed it: “Yours in the struggle against abuse of state power”.

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