Sars, Malema reach settlement agreement
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has reached a settlement agreement with the South African Revenue Service (Sars), the high court in Pretoria heard on Monday.
“Overnight ... Mr Malema entered into a conditional compromise agreement [with Sars],” Nic Maritz, for Sars, told the court. “The parties have agreed to an extension.”
Malema’s lawyer, Tumi Mokwena, confirmed the settlement agreement. His provisional sequestration was extended and the matter was postponed to August 25. A draft order was handed to Judge Cynthia Pretorius who signed it. Malema was not in court.
Malema – or any other interested party – had until 10am on Monday to give the court reasons why his sequestration should not be made final. Last week, Mokwena said that the firebrand leader, who is a newly sworn-in MP, would oppose the finalisation of an order to seize his assets.
In April, a trust was launched to collect funds to settle Malema’s R16-million Sars bill, but it is not clear if the trust has secured enough funds to help him. 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 his 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.
In May last year Malema’s incomplete mansion in Sandton, Johannesburg, was sold on auction for R5.9-million – although it was later revealed the bidder could apparently not afford the home.
Malema’s farm in Limpopo fetched R2.5-million at an auction in June 2013, and several of his household goods were also auctioned off. – Sapa