‘No better than a thief’

2008-07-11 00:00

The “regularisation” by Jacob Zuma of his tax affairs “after years of delinquency” does not exculpate him, “any more than a thief who repays the stolen money, or a shoplifter who attempts to replace the stolen goods on the shelf after he is caught”.

This is the response of Johan du Plooy, Scorpions and National Prosecuting Authority senior special investigator, to Zuma’s revelation in an affidivit last month that he has settled his tax affairs with the SA Revenue Service.

Du Plooy notes that the settlement was arrived at after Zuma’s indictment on the present charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering, tax evasion and money laundering.

The NPA denies an allegation by Zuma that it is “on an improper frolic of its own” in respect of the tax evasion charges on the grounds that SARS has not complained.

The NPA is acting “in accordance with its constitutional and legislative mandate to prosecute without fear, favour or prejudice”, said du Plooy.

It disputes that it must “first get the permission of SARS” to institute prosecutions for tax-related offences “of which it has ample evidence”.

But, he added, SARS is well aware of the DSO investigation of Zuma and of its allegations that the tax offences with which he is charged are part of a pattern of racketeering activities.

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