SARS to throw the book at Pauw, Sunday Times over Zuma tax-dodging claims

2017-11-03 12:15
President Jacob Zuma at Sona 2017. (File)

President Jacob Zuma at Sona 2017. (File)

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Cape Town – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is considering legal steps against investigative journalist Jacques Pauw and the Sunday Times. 

Pauw's book The President’s Keepers alleges that President Jacob Zuma received monthly payments of R1m from Roy Moodley in 2009 when he already was president, without declaring it to SARS.

The Sunday Times published an extract of Pauw's book. 

ALSO READ: Zuma was paid a ‘salary’ by tender tycoon, claims book

"SARS wishes to categorically state that it is deeply concerned about the publication of confidential taxpayer information in contravention of Chapter 6 of the Tax Administration Act (TAA) 28 of 2011, especially Section 69 which prohibits the disclosure of taxpayer information by a SARS official or former SARS official," reads a statement released on Friday. 

It states that the TAA prohibits the disclosure of confidential taxpayer information outside judicial processes and, in particular, an order of the High Court, and that SARS views the publication of "confidential taxpayer information" in the book and the Sunday Times as unlawful. 

"As a result, SARS is duty-bound to address the violation of the TAA by Mr. Jacques Pauw and the unsubstantiated allegation that Commissioner Tom Moyane is aiding President Zuma to avoid his tax obligations."

'Shoot the messenger'

"Thus SARS is seeking legal advice on what steps to take, including, but not limited to, criminal and civil investigation against Mr. Pauw and the Sunday Times into the circumstances pertaining to the unlawful disclosure of confidential taxpayer information."

On Thursday, Zuma, while answering questions in the National Assembly, said: "I did not receive any payments from private individuals or companies during my tenure as president of the Republic of South Africa, other than those disclosed or reported to the necessary authorities."

ALSO READ: Presidency rejects new allegations

This answer did not please DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who in a follow-up question waved Pauw's book at the president. Zuma then said, "I don't think it is my job to answer books."

News24 couldn't reach Pauw on Friday morning.

Times Live reported that Sunday Times editor Bongani Siqoko was standing by the report and that they would wait for SARS' legal papers before responding. 

Pauw told Times Live that he would let his lawyers look at the letter, adding that he found it disturbing that "SARS attempts to shoot the messenger", instead of addressing the claims in the book. 

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Read more on:    sars  |  jacob zuma  |  media  |  state capture  |  corruption
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