Malema’s tax affairs not over

FILE PICTURE: Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema. Picture: Michel Bega

FILE PICTURE: Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema. Picture: Michel Bega

EFF leader Julius Malema is not off the hook yet as far as his tax affairs are concerned as the taxman seems hell bent on obtaining a sequestration order against him.

Judge Ferdi Preller on Monday extended a provisional sequestration order against Malema until June 1, when legal argument will be heard if a final order should be granted or if the provisional order should be discharged. In August last year, when the provisional court order was also extended, Malema said the matter was closed as far as he was concerned. He dismissed reports that the order had been extended so that SARS could investigate the source of his payment.

This followed newspaper reports suggesting that SARS wanted to investigate the possibility that Malema was being bankrolled by Adriano Mazzotti, an alleged “cigarette smuggler” who was himself being investigated by SARS for  alleged tax evasion. He said his tax was paid by a Trust established by fellow South Africans who saw the sequestration bid as a persecution.
A provisional sequestration order was granted against Malema in February last year, with SARS alleging he owed R16 million in outstanding taxes and interest.

He allegedly failed to submit tax returns between 2006 and 2010 and also failed to register his Ratanang Family Trust for tax purposes. Malema thereafter managed to ward off his sequestration, which could end his political career as a Member of Parliament, when he reached a compromise agreement with SARS last year. SARS has attached and sold off several of Malema’s assets to help cover his massive tax bill.

He also agreed to pay off his debt at R500 000 per month, with SARS  deducting a further R30 000 per month from his salary. His lawyer Tumi Mokoena today told reporters he was surprised that SARS had filed an affidavit late on Friday night suggesting that Malema had not complied with the compromise agreement.

He said SARS had received full payments and have raised issues which Malema’s legal team thought did not matter and were immaterial to the compromise agreement.

“We just think this is another attempt by SARS to prolong the matter for political reasons.

“We believe the agreement should be confirmed and that there should be no reason for us to come to court again,” he said.

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