Former president Jacob Zuma has distanced himself from the SA Revenue Service’s (Sars) urgent court bid to prevent Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane from accessing his tax information.
Taking to social media platform Twitter on Tuesday, Zuma said: “I hear that my Sars records are being contested in court by [commissioner Edward] Kieswetter. No one has consulted me about this matter. Furthermore, I have been informed that the office requesting these records is the office of the Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane.”
“I need to clarify that I have never refused the office of the Public Protector access to investigate my affairs. This country knows very well that the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela investigated me on a number of occasions and made findings against me,” said Zuma.
The former president went on to say that Sars should avail the records and allow Mkhwebane to do her job without any obstructions.
“It must be known that I have nothing to hide. If the Public Protector wants to see my Sars records she is free to do so. We should not make the job of the Public Protector difficult. If she wants my records, she must have them,” he said.
This comes after Mkhwebane issued a subpoena in October to obtain Zuma’s taxpayer information following her investigation into a 2017 complaint from the DA that Zuma allegedly received undeclared money from a security company during (at least) the first four months of his presidency.
This was challenged by Kieswetter on Monday in an urgent court bid to prevent her from getting hold of the information.
Sars now wants an urgent stay against the implementation of the subpoena granted to Mkhwebane in October and is asking the high court to rule that it can withhold taxpayer information from the Public Protector, and that her office’s subpoena powers do not extend to taxpayer information.
The revenue service also wants Mkhwebane to pay 15% of the legal costs in the case.