Malema owes R16m in tax, Says S.African Revenue Service

By IndepthAfrica
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Sep 24th, 2012
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Former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema

he South African Revenue Service has obtained a R16-million judgment against former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema for unpaid taxes.

The judgment was obtained in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on September 11, City Press reported.

Malema did not oppose the application by Sars.

Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay confirmed the judgment against Malema for R16-million had been obtained.

He told the newspaper the amount included unpaid taxes, penalties and interest.

Lackay said he could not give any more details of Malema’s tax affairs because a “taxpayer’s confidentiality is a legal obligation imposed on Sars”.

According to the report Sars was about to seize Malema’s property and assets in Gauteng and Limpopo.

Alan Lewis, a tax law consultant and advocate, told City Press the judgment showed two things: Malema had a “hell of a lot of money” and he was in deep trouble.

Lewis, a former Sars employee, said the revenue service would probably hand the judgment to a sheriff of the court, who would then attach Malema’s properties and assets.

Sars started looking into Malema’s tax affairs last year after it was revealed that he was linked to companies which had obtained lucrative contracts from the Limpopo provincial government.

Millions of rands were channelled through Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust, according to the report.

Trust ‘benefited improperly’
Meanwhile, public protector Thuli Madonsela has found that Malema made his millions from a fraudulent tender.

Although Madonsela could not find evidence that Malema interfered in the tendering process, she found that his trust benefited “improperly”, City Press reported.

Madonsela proposed that legal action be taken to recover the money Malema received.

This was according to a copy of Madonsela’s provisional report into the R52-million tender won by On-Point Engineers from the Limpopo roads and transport department.

Malema’s family trust was one of the two shareholders in On-Point.

According to the paper, Madonsela’s investigation also found that On-Point acted corruptly by signing back-to-back agreements with subcontractors.

“Due to the fact that the awarding of the contract to On-Point was based on deliberate misrepresentations and non-compliance with procurement prescripts, its shareholders, including the Ratanang Family Trust … benefited improperly by means of the payment of ‘dividends’ and other payments made to it by On-Point,” the newspaper quoted from Madonsela’s report.

Madonsela recommended that the tender be immediately cancelled and that the National Prosecuting Authority and Asset Forfeiture Unit urgently consider criminal action.

‘Orchestrated campaign’
Malema’s lawyer confirmed on Friday that an arrest warrant has been issued for him, said City Press.

“We have received confirmation from the authorities that there is an arrest warrant issued for Mr Malema,” Nicqui Galaktiou of Brian Kahn Attorneys said.

Expelled ANC Youth League secretary general Sindiso Magaqa on Saturday told the M&G that the imminent arrest was “part of an orchestrated campaign, by those who lack the political coherence to engage on political issues, to tarnish the image of the [youth league] president.”

Magaqa said that Malema and his associates had been expecting the arrest.

“They resort to dirty tricks because they’re cowards,” he said.

“It was not a surprise for us because we knew there is an orchestrated campaign that is being run in government to arrest the president of the ANC youth league,” he said.

“You will have noticed that after the Marikana issue, this thing of arrest has popped out because people were very aggrieved that [Malema] emerged as a leader who can go and listen to the people, and people have responded to his call for a mining revolution so we can share the economy of this country,” said Magaqa.

“We knew when we touched the nerves of the institution in power now, of the establishment, they were bound to respond.”

Magaqa said the threat of arrest had not cowed Malema. “These actions by the government give us more strength. We are more determined,” he said.

“The youth of South Africa will rebel,” he said. “We are ready to fight fire with fire.”

Magaqa said neither he nor Malema had seen the charges but added that “whatever charges come we will go to the court”. In the meanwhile, it was business as usual. – Sapa

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