Malema must step down to deal with Sars - group

2015-05-25 16:36
(Giordano Stolley, News24)

(Giordano Stolley, News24)

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Johannesburg - A group calling itself the defenders of the EFF constitution want party leader Julius Malema to step down while he sorts out his legal battle with the SA Revenue Service (Sars).

"We... demand that Julius Malema relinquish his position in Parliament and from the EFF until his mess is sorted out," the group said in a statement on Monday.

"We do not want to go to the 2016 local election campaign with a black cloud hanging [over] our heads. We do not want a questionable person to disturb our chances of winning municipality elections."

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the party would make no apology for standing behind Malema.

"Simple: the Sars matter has been there even before the EFF [people's assembly]," he told News24 in an SMS.

"So members of the EFF elected him to presidency knowing this to be true. So these are voiceless nyaope delinquents who seek attention from the obvious wildernesses of irrelevance." 

Malema's sequestration case is expected back in court on June 1.

An agreement between Sars and the firebrand leader had collapsed last month and the revenue service now wanted an additional R14m in interest and penalties.

At the time, Malema's lawyer Tumi Mokwena said the collapse of the agreement and Sars's bid to sequestrate him, was politically motivated.

He said Malema would challenge the Sars's bid to sequestrate him. If he is sequestrated he will lose his seat in Parliament.

'Case politically motivated'

Mokwena said Malema’s initial tax bill of R16m was reduced to R4m, which was paid. This was due to tax returns he failed to pay between 2006 and 2010.

According to reports last month, Sars was taking these new steps as Malema’s tax payments were from dubious sources.

However, Mokwena said Sars knew where the money came from. In addition there was nothing in the agreement requiring Malema to disclose the source of the payments. 

Ndlozi echoed Mokwena's sentiments saying that the Sars case and the criminal cases against Malema were politically motivated.

The defenders of the EFF constitution group have called on party members to defy a call to support Malema during the matter.

"The defenders of the EFF constitution and its guidelines call on every individual with a revolutionary mind not to side with individuals who do not respect the country's constitution.

"Do not be an accomplice to a possible tax fraudster and a tax cheater," it said.

It said the money that would be used to transport people to court to support Malema could be used rather to fight e-tolls, pay for someone's school fees or used to campaign for farmworkers.

Read more on:    eff  |  sars  |  julius malema  |  mbuyiseni ndlozi  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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