African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema might be stealing from the poor through tax evasion said Independent Democrats (ID) leader Patricia de Lille on Sunday.
“It is extremely likely that ANCYL president Julius Malema is stealing from the poor through tax evasion … contrary to what he has been saying all along,” De Lille said in a statement.
De Lille said a whistleblower told her that neither Malema nor businesses linked to him were tax compliant.
“Which begs the question — how did SGL Engineering Projects manage to get Limpopo Government contracts worth R140-million between 2007 and 2009?
“Although I guess that when you’ve got friends in the highest places in both Limpopo and the Presidency, the world is your oyster.”
She said the country was faced with a bleak future “if these are the kinds of leaders we are grooming, leaders that have different rules for themselves than the rest of us and who claim to be pro-poor, when in fact they are ransacking the poor”.
‘Ruthless, dangerous vultures’
De Lille lashed out at Malema’s alleged tax evasion, saying his actions were not actions of young lions but of “ruthless, dangerous vultures that are intent on stealing from the very young people they claim to represent”.
The ID leader said she submitted questions to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, asking for the details of Malema’s companies’ tax status and whether they complied with tender requirements in regards to having a tax clearance certificate.
“In addition, when the President [Jacob Zuma] answers question in Parliament on March 18, I am going to ask him whether his proposed debate on morality will include the morality of government ministers and the ruling party benefiting financially from tenders,” De Lille said.
Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Athol Trollip said if Malema had not submitted tax returns, he should pay up immediately or be prosecuted for tax evasion.
“The public has the right to know that Malema is being treated no differently to other South Africans.”
City Press reported on Sunday that Malema had not submitted tax returns since his election as ANCYL president two years ago. None of his four companies — of which he was still a registered director and shareholder —were tax compliant, while Malema himself had never submitted returns, the newspaper reported.
It said 13 more contracts were awarded to Malema’s company, SGL Engineering, but that a document from the Polokwane Municipality did not indicate how much each contract was worth. The values of contracts to other companies were indicated, the newspaper reported. — Sapa