Tax probe into Malema associates ‘not unique’
02 May 2012
Posted by: SAIT Technical
By Setumo Stone (Business Day)
THE inquiry involving businessmen with links to expelled African National Congress (ANC) Youth League president Julius Malema was "not unique", with up to five such cases being handled a year, a South African Revenue Service (SARS) official said yesterday.
This comes after weekend reports that a number of businessmen linked to Mr Malema had been subpoenaed to appear before "a secret judicial inquiry", on suspicion of tax evasion and related offences.
An inquiry of this nature was conducted against convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti and his associated entities, said the source yesterday. In 2010, SARS reportedly made a R60m claim against Mr Agliotti, relating to assessed tax for a period between 2003 and 2008, including interest and penalties.
While Mr Malema has not been subpoenaed, the inquiry could produce criminal evidence against him amid questions on how he funded his lavish lifestyle. Those appearing before the inquiry would be granted immunity unless they provided false evidence or failed to answer questions fully and satisfactorily.
Mr Malema is fighting to retain his ANC membership after he was expelled from the party in February. He was then suspended temporarily early this month after calling President Jacob Zuma "a dictator".
He has spearheaded the campaign to prevent Mr Zuma from getting a second term as the leader of the party. Mr Malema insists that the disciplinary procedures and state investigations into his finances are politically motivated.
SARS spokesman Adrian Lackay yesterday said SARS could not comment publicly on the affairs of any taxpayer. "Taxpayer confidentiality extends to whether or not a taxpayer is under investigation. (It) ends only when a matter is formally brought before a court of law, other than a tax court. It then becomes a matter for public record."