SARS seeks to appeal ruling ordering it to provide media with Zuma's tax records

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SARS had initially refused to share Zuma's tax records with the media, citing tax payer confidentiality.
SARS had initially refused to share Zuma's tax records with the media, citing tax payer confidentiality.
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The SA Revenue Service will seek leave to appeal a high court ruling ordering it to supply the tax records of former president Jacob Zuma to two media organisations. 

Two weeks ago, the Pretoria High Court ordered the tax agency to supply the Financial Mail and amaBhungane with eight years of former president Jacob Zuma's personal tax records in the public interest. 

On Tuesday, SARS said it would seek to appeal the ruling directly to South Africa's apex court. At the same time, it is seeking to oppose a bid by the two media companies to have the Constitutional Court confirm the high court's finding that sections of SA's tax law that allow for absolute tax payer confidentiality are unconstitutional. 

In intends for the two applications to be heard concurrently as they cover very similar ground. 

Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi previously told Fin24 he hoped the revenue collection agency would lead the way in appealing the judgment, which he described as a "travesty of justice". 

SARS had initially refused to share Zuma's tax records with the media, citing tax payer confidentiality. But Judge Norman Davis ruled that sections of the Tax Administration Act (as well as the Promotion of Access to Information Act), which allowed for absolute taxpayer secrecy were unconstitutional. Davis ruled there had to be a public interest exception to this broad rule. 

As the ruling dealt with constitutional matters, South Africa's apex court has to either confirm or reject the ruling. 

*This article was updated at 17:00 on Tuesday. 

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