/ 31 January 2013

Sars tries to have Malema sequestrated

Former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.
Former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

The City Press reported on Thursday that, according to court papers, the former ANC Youth League president owed Sars R16-million and is "factually insolvent and in no position to make payment of his indebtedness to Sars".

Malema and his lawyers would decide on Thursday whether to oppose the application.

If the application succeeded or was unopposed, all Malema's properties – including two houses, a smallholding and his farm in Limpopo – would be placed under curatorship and auctioned to cover his debts.

According to the court documents, Sars rejected an offer by Malema to borrow R4-million to settle his outstanding taxes until 2011, because of inconsistencies in his representations.

In its papers, Sars reportedly stated that discrepancies in Malema's representation of his net assets were not conducive to concluding that he had made a full and frank disclosure, and supported its contention that "it would be to the benefit of Malema's creditors to sequestrate his estate".

Malema has until February 18 to notify Sars whether he intended opposing the application. The hearing was scheduled for February 27.

Sars started looking into Malema's tax affairs last year after it was revealed that he was linked to companies which had obtained lucrative contracts from the Limpopo provincial government.

Millions of rands were channelled through Malema's Ratanang Family Trust, according to the report.

Thereafter his finances were also investigated by the Hawks and public protector Thuli Madonsela.

Trust benefited improperly
Madonsela found that Malema made his millions from a fraudulent tender, and although she could not find evidence that he interfered in the tendering process, she found that Malema's trust benefited "improperly", the City Press reported at the time.

Madonsela proposed that legal action be taken to recover the money Malema received.

This was according to a copy of Madonsela's provisional report into the R52-million tender won by On-Point Engineers from the Limpopo roads and transport department.

Malema's family trust was one of the two shareholders in On-Point.

According to the paper, Madonsela's investigation also found that On-Point acted corruptly by signing back-to-back agreements with subcontractors.

She recommended that the tender be immediately cancelled and that the National Prosecuting Authority and Asset Forfeiture Unit urgently consider criminal action.

In September last year Malema appeared in court on charges of fraud and corruption after a Hawks investigation into his finances. – Additional reporting by Sapa