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Tax row settled, claims Malema

Sapa

The EFF leader says he is paying off Sars in installments, in compliance with a provisional sequestration order against him.

EFF leader Julius Malema in court. (Paul Botes, M&G)

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said on Monday he was complying with the provisional sequestration order against him which has been extended to December 1. 

Speaking to journalists outside the high court in Pretoria, where the provisional order was extended, the EFF leader said he came to court to see the extension granted. 

“We want to put it on record, like we did in the past, that we have settled the matter with Sars,” Malema said. “We agreed, on top of what they’ve sold from me, I shall put [an] extra four-million [rand] and then, the first installment, was rather I should pay one million.” 

He then needed to pay R500 000 every month, with the South African Revenue Service (Sars) taking R30 000 from his salary every month. “Now, I am complying with all those agreements I’ve reached with Sars,” Malema said. 

Sequestration order extension
Meanwhile, the provisional sequestration order against Malema regarding his outstanding tax bill has been extended to December 1, a clerk in the high court in Pretoria said on Monday.

EFF leader Julius Malema’s lawyers were expected to argue why a provisional sequestration order against him should not be made final.

In May, Malema’s provisional sequestration was extended and the matter was postponed. 

As stated by Sunday’s Rapport, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) would ask for a two-month extension of Malema’s provisional sequestration to determine where he got the money to repay his tax debt each month. 

According to “impeccable sources”, alleged cigarette smuggler Andriano Mazzotti was helping Malema pay his tax debt, the newspaper reported. Mazzotti was also being investigated by Sars for smuggling and tax evasion. 

Malema previously admitted he had not attended to his tax affairs the way the law required. According to court papers, Malema owed Sars 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 had failed to register his Ratanang Family Trust for tax purposes, and Sars had to do this on his behalf. Ratanang is the name of Malema’s young son. Sars attached some of Malema’s property, including a farm in Limpopo and a house still under construction in Johannesburg, to recoup the taxes he owed. 

Impact on political career
In February, Judge Bill Prinsloo ordered that Malema’s estate be provisionally sequestrated. A final sequestration order would affect Malema’s political career, as he would no longer be allowed to serve as a Member of Parliament. 

Malema said the offer he made to Sars included an additional amount to be paid by him. Sars said the details of the agreement were confidential. If Malema failed to disclose a material fact related to his settlement, supplied materially wrong information, or broke the conditions of the agreement, Sars would bring the final sequestration order into effect. 

Malema had to meet the requirements in order for the compromise to be considered favourably. This included making a full and verifiable disclosure regarding his assets, liabilities and income. – Sapa

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