Malema's business partner drops tax fight

2012-08-07 20:00

Johannesburg - The North Gauteng High Court has ordered Lesiba Gwangwa, a business partner of the embattled former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, to make himself available for questioning at a crucial inquiry into his tax affairs on Tuesday.

Gwangwa, 32, had approached the High Court to set aside the inquiry into 18 of his companies, some in which Malema still has a stake through the Ratanang Family Trust.

Malema resigned as director of these companies, but still benefits from On-Point through his Ratanang Family Trust’s shareholding in the company.

He withdrew the two court applications to set aside the inquiry on Tuesday but did not give reasons for doing so.

Gwangwa wanted the inquiry, which is probing 15 suspected breaches of the VAT Act and Income Tax Act by Gwangwa and his companies since 2005, to be set aside and had argued that the probe was, among others, unconstitutional.

It took Judge Ferdi Preller by surprise when Gwangwa’s lawyers informed him on Tuesday that their client had settled the matter out of court and had agreed to testify at the inquiry by the South African Revenue Service.

“I didn’t think this matter was capable of being settled. The order is made that he will testify and appear on Tuesday. So Advocate [Piet] Marais can continue with his inquiry,” said Preller.

Marais was one of the three respondents named by Gwangwa in his urgent application. Others included Gwangwa’s former accountant Seraj Ravat and the Sars commissioner.

'Frustrate the Sars investigation'

Sars attorney Nic Maritz SC told City Press that Gwangwa did not give any reasons for withdrawing his application, which the taxman was opposing as merely an “attempt to delay or frustrate the Sars investigation and specifically an attempt to prevent Sars in carrying out its duties”.

Gwangwa has been fighting the taxman since May this year when he first approached the High Court to have the inquiry set aside, based on the refusal by Marais, the presiding officer in the Sars inquiry, to provide him with a copy of Ravat’s testimony and Gwangwa’s exclusion from Ravat’s testimony.

During his testimony in April, Ravat told Marais that he had received threatening telephone calls and that if he continued to testify in the presence of Gwangwa he would not feel safe and he would not be “frank” in his testimony.

This prompted Marais to instruct Gwangwa and his legal team to leave the inquiry until Ravat had completed his testimony, which angered Gwangwa.

In its opposing affidavit, Sars senior manager in tax and customs enforcement investigations Pieter Engelbrecht, contended that Gwangwa had a strong case to answer.

The charges include tax evasion.

Engelbrecht had contended in court papers that Gwangwa’s application was not urgent and that Gwangwa was not entitled to a copy of Ravat’s testimony.

“Simply put [Gwangwa] is non-compliant. The investigation is necessary and has already yielded results and the applicant is attempting to frustrate Sars in its investigation by relying on vague and unsubstantiated allegations,” said Engelbrecht.

Attempts to reach Gwangwa were unsuccessful.

  • Eric Mdudus Shaku - 2012-08-07 20:23

    hahahahahaha lol

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-08-07 20:40

      Malema will be in prison just in time to stop him from upsetting Zipper's attempt to stay in power. Watch this space...

      Rabbler.Rouser - 2012-08-07 20:45

      And the noose gets tighter. Soon it will be Malema's turn. - 2012-08-07 21:58

      So the Cookie crumbles and the Hunters become the hunted. Good work SARS weed out these corrupt SOB and clean the garden of future prosperity.

      sarah.bouttell - 2012-08-08 10:18

      Could this be part of the fall out from investigations into Juju's Ratanang trust a/c? I did predict (along with many others) that the tax man would do the smart thing, and investigate all the donors to said trust. How do you get a gang to implode? You make them turn on each other. Money is king to these guys, not friendship, or loyalty.

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-08-08 10:35

      Just when we thought Zuma was going to jail he was made president. I hope history does not repeat itself with cockroach.

  • hennie.vanderberg.5 - 2012-08-07 20:24

    Start from the bottom, Juju they coming for you ... can't wait !

  • sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-08-07 20:32

    It is about time that SARS toghtened the noose. Eighteen companies!!! His tax bill must be worth chasing...

      martin.kaschula - 2012-08-07 20:41

      pleeeze spell correctly , otherwise i'm all for it.

      sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-08-07 20:44

      humblest apologies...

      nico.loubser.9 - 2012-08-07 21:31

      Martin@........ it is: " I'm " I... always with a capital.

      silvia.vaneck2 - 2012-08-07 21:58

      Martin, And it's please not pleeeze.

      stanton.clarke - 2012-08-07 23:50

      Poor Martin........

      hayley.fredericks.9 - 2012-08-08 09:45

      @ martin.kaschula ...... If you are going to criticize spelling then perhaps you should start with your own: pleeze = please, i'm = I'm and there is no space before a comma.

      godfrey.welman - 2012-08-08 21:22

      @Martin....judge not, less you be

  • nina.ignjatov - 2012-08-07 20:37

    They going for Malema slowly, :D cannot wait !!!!! Then Tokyo will be in there somewhere , watch this space!!! Lots going to be coming out the cracks.

  • mzukisijola.jose1 - 2012-08-07 20:56

    I wonder zuma pay tax,when is he going to court to clear himself in court of law not by spa

      joubert.joep - 2012-08-07 21:29

      The President do NOT pay tax! We do! They will pull another ANC and blame somebody else for the mistake they made with Malema. This poor guy is going to jail for Malema watch! I guess doing business with little Juju is not that easy?

      kevin.pitzer - 2012-08-07 21:30

      continue to wander

      mbambo.shi - 2012-08-08 09:15

      When the syndrome start manifesting and having no one to rescue his ass from the gate of prison.

  • sbudesh1 - 2012-08-07 21:27

    18 companies, is that possible

  • ditoare.gypsy - 2012-08-07 21:29

    History is saying Limpopo never had books to study (quoting from the latest books scandal going on in Limpopo). This guy had 18companies in 2005 meaning he was 25years old, I wonder how old he was when he register his 1st company? And what Qualification Malema had to hold a Director position in Engineering Consultants company. Limpopo boys are very busy

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-08-07 21:42

    Its getting intense. They're taking eachother out.

  • sisie.indola - 2012-08-08 07:07

    You make money - you pay the piper - it's called tax. These idiots keep thinking that tax is only paid by other people - which other people? Just wish the rest of the people in government thought the same. Would love to know who pays tax and who doesn't - just curious!

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-08 07:28

    make sure you get all of these tax thieves, & then on to illegal tenders, there is a whole iceberg waiting to be discovered & Malema is in the middle of this.

  • charles.kubhayi.9 - 2012-08-08 08:43

    I wonder whether the South African youth who support Malema as their hero read how Malema benefits from business people while they are stranded in the streets looking for a job.Malema is using their support to make his own gains from business people and pretend as if he is fighting for the youth's economic freedom while he is fighting for business people to access tenders and evade tax.

      mlungisi.crush - 2012-08-08 17:49

      100% right Charles! spot on!!

  • terrence.schwartz.1 - 2012-08-08 08:53

    The drums are beating for Limpopo guys.............getting louder and louder.

  • Vince.York - 2012-08-08 08:57

    bbbee biz on a limb in the poopooh at Limpopo! Congratulations to the youth for reinventing business the diehard easy commie way and cutting all their mutually engaged business entities and clients throats off with obscenely over-inflated charges, elevating Limpopo's municipal rates by as much as 75% compared to the western cape's less than 18% as one comparative. BUT is it any different to the ANC Chancellor House contracts and Zuma coal and mineral deals, where they have CREATED MONEY THAT DOES NOT EXIST also by signing flourished signatures across a piece of papaer forcing every individual to pay hugely and unsustainable incremental fees and taxes and base charges for energy and the raw material to produce it and every chain in the link to create the energy. This is in itself a BUBBLE that will burst soon, just as the western banking bubble created on false money values has burst these past years, but then those commies will NEVER acknowledge that they are ruthlessly ripping their own off will they.

  • shawn.swiegers - 2012-08-08 08:58

    In the long run it wont matter. Medical Parol will come to the rescue once again.

  • arthurenlouise.tarr - 2012-08-08 09:38

    32 years old... 18 Companies... I'm shoarreeyy boss.

  • sefako.mokgalaka - 2012-08-08 12:33

    18 companies for one man! That is greedy tenderpreneuring. I am sure 100% of their revenue comes from government. These guys are criminal and they only care for themselves. SA is better of without them. They are a good candidate for Asset Forfeiture Unit. Bastards

  • sefako.mokgalaka - 2012-08-08 12:33

    18 companies for one man! That is greedy tenderpreneuring. I am sure 100% of their revenue comes from government. These guys are criminal and they only care for themselves. SA is better of without them. They are a good candidate for Asset Forfeiture Unit. Bastards

  • sxp - 2012-09-03 18:43

    Juju, the line is getting shorter and soon you will be next up. My advice, spill the beans on Zoomer and everyone else that you have some bad info on. Maybe the courts will be a bit soft on you or maybe not.

  • annalene.nel - 2012-09-03 19:31


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