Juju waves white flag
02 June 2014
Posted by: Author: Amanda Watson
Author: Amanda Watson (Citizen)
The quote of Christopher Bullock in his 1716 book, The Cobler of Preston. Nearly 300 years later and people are still finding this out the hard way.
Take the Economic Freedom Fighter’s commander-in-chief and MP Julius Malema. Piet Nel, of the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants, said that Malema’s press release was not standard practice.
"What was interesting is it seems he has made no payment at all. He acknowledges the R18 million debt and that he has said some nasty things about SA Revenue Service (SARS), and now he’s saying: Look, I was naughty and
I apologise for what I said and I will try and get my tax affairs in order.”
According to SARS, some of the things that annoyed them were:
Failing to register the Ratanang Trust for tax purposes;
Failing to submit tax returns for Ratanang Trust and then transferring assets he owned to third parties in a clear attempt to shift these assets outside the reach of SARS while he was talking to SARS officials may well have been the final straw.
Some phrases in Malema’s apology are: "I failed to declare certain income …”; "I accept that I did not attend to my tax affairs …”; and "I unreservedly apologise …”
Stiaan Klue, of the SA Institute of Tax Practitioners, said: "SARS’ primary responsibility is to collect taxes. It is not in its interest to be involved in public spats.”
Now that Malema was in Parliament it was in SARS’ – and South Africa’s – best interest that the taxes Malema owed be collected and sequestration would not help recover the full amount, said Klue.
He pointed out that if Malema was sequestrated he would not be able to enter Parliament, which would defeat the purpose of the exercise. However, if Malema fails to "disclose a material fact relating to his settlement” or fails to meet other conditions, SARS can still implement the sequestration order.
This article first appeared on citizen.co.za.