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Malema tries to settle tax woes

Sapa

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema is trying to settle his tax bill to avoid being barred from Parliament, reports say.

According to court documents, Julius Malema owed R16-million, plus interest, after failing to submit tax returns between 2006 and 2010. (Gallo)

The Sunday Times reported that Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema offered to pay R4-million plus properties already seized by the South African Revenue Service (Sars) worth about R4-million to stop a final sequestration which could be ordered by a court on May 26.

"There are good Samaritans who are saying if you are getting an offer, we are ready to settle it," he said.

The newspaper reported that the former ANC Youth League leader regularly called Ivan Pillay, acting Sars commissioner, to settle his R16-million bill.

If sequestrated, he will be disqualified from Parliament if the EFF gains enough support in the May 7 elections.

Malema, who still faces criminal charges of fraud and money laundering, claimed Sars reached a settlement with him months ago but made a U-turn to sequestrate him for political reasons.

He said he had accepted the debt so that he could apply for a settlement but the settlement application was turned down and Pillay was now ignoring his calls.

Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay said Pillay did not deal with settlement proposals and that Malema had been afforded many opportunities to regularise his tax affairs and had "consistently failed to do so".

According to court documents, Malema owed R16-million, plus interest, after failing to submit tax returns between 2006 and 2010.

In 2010, Sars contacted Malema about his failure to submit tax returns.

It took Malema 18 months, after many attempts by Sars, to file his outstanding returns. Malema also failed to register the Ratanang Trust for tax purposes, and Sars had to do this on his behalf.

Sars attached some of Malema's property to recoup the taxes he owed. – Sapa

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