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Taxman serves R10m bill on Malema

Apr 22 2012 14:26 Carien du Plessis and Sipho Masondo

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Johannesburg - Suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has been served with a tax bill of more than R10m.

At the same time, Malema hit out at his detractors, saying they have “unleashed all state agencies against me because they want to silence me”.

Speaking outside his house in Flora Park, Polokwane on Saturday, Malema said if anybody wanted to arrest him “they know my address”.

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has added to Malema’s woes by demanding more than R10m in taxes from him – apparently related to the millions deposited into his Ratanang Family Trust.

Malema is likely to be kicked out of the ANC this week for ill-discipline.

Malema initially reacted with shock when City Press approached him for comment, saying via SMS: “What? That’s not possible.”

But later he again replied via SMS, saying his accountant said the amount owed to Sars was R120m. He added: “We prefer to (deal) with Sars directly, not through City Press.”

It is not clear how he got to the figure of R120m, or whether he was joking.

Soon afterwards, his lawyer, Nicqui Galaktiou, sent the following message: “Disclosure of Mr Malema’s private affairs with Sars is a violation of his right to privacy.”

She also said publishing private tax information was a criminal offence “and breaks the sanctity between a taxpayer and Sars”.

City Press understands that the more than R10m he owes Sars includes penalties. Money owed in an assessment usually emanates from income that was not declared or not fully declared.

Three independent sources confirmed Malema’s tax troubles.

City Press reported last month that in 2010 alone, R3m was paid into the trust by different people.

The league’s officials said in a statement in July last year if there was any wrongdoing on the part of the trust, Malema “is open and ready for investigations by Sars, and any other law enforcement agencies”.

It is believed Malema will object to the Sars assessment. He could then approach a tax court or appeal against the finding in a high court.

At this point, his tax affairs would become public. If this appeal is turned down, he would have to pay up or have his assets attached.

Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay could not comment, saying taxpayers’ affairs are secret.

 - City Press
julius malema  |  sars  |  anc youth league
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