The South African Revenue Service (Sars) should not take orders from opposition parties, the African National Congress Youth League said on Tuesday.
However, if Sars decided to investigate a complaint from the Democratic Alliance against ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, it would cooperate, spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said.
“This is because the ANC Youth League is of strong conviction that all South Africans should live honest and corruption-free lifestyles and be at all times ready to account on the resources they have access to.
“The ANC Youth League supports Sars activities and decisions on any matter unconditionally, and believes that their decisions on who to conduct investigations and lifestyle audits on will never be a result of political instructions and ventilations of particularly racist political parties,” said Shivambu.
Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said on Tuesday that she had sent a letter to Sars to request that Malema’s financial affairs be investigated.
Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay could not confirm that they had received it but Kohler Barnard provided a reference number from Sars. He said earlier that if such a request was received, “obviously we will consider it and establish the merits in the claims that the MP will make, and then we will proceed from there”.
In the letter, a copy of which was sent to news outlets, including the Mail & Guardian, Kohler Barnard says: “I am writing to you to express my concern at reports that ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema is building a home worth R16-million in Sandown, Johannesburg. This comes alongside other reports of excessively high expenditure; including reports that Mr Malema settled a bill of R78 000 in cash at a luxury game lodge.
“Mr Malema alleges that his nett ANC Youth League salary is his sole income and that is approximately R20 000 a month. This poses grave questions regarding whether or not Mr Malema’s finances are above board.”
The Sunday Independent reported at the weekend that Malema was building a R16-million mansion in Sandown, northern Johannesburg. The house would reportedly include a secure basement where he could hide in case of an attack.
Kohler Barnard said: “Numerous questions are being asked about his conspicuous consumption — such as which bank has lent him R16m when he states that his income is just R20 000p/m, or alternatively, which individual has given him that money, and under what finance regulations would such a donation be legal?” — Sapa