Several countries announced the launch of tax evasion probes after the release on Sunday of confidential documents relating to offshore investments. This prompted South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority and National Treasury to yesterday announce they would also undertake separate inquiries into the debacle.
The information leak from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca lifted the lid on the murky offshore financial dealings of international politicians and celebrities. The documents showed banks, law firms and other offshore players often failed to follow legal requirements to ensure clients were not involved in criminal enterprises, tax dodging or political corruption.
In a statement yesterday, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said he had instructed the South African Revenue Service, Financial Intelligence Centre and the South African Reserve Bank to investigate the so-called “Panama Papers”.
Among those named in the debacle are President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, and South Africa-born former Dutch footballer John Bredenkamp. The probe by media houses into the leak named about 140 political figures, including 12 current or former heads of state