FORMER African National Congress (ANC) Youth League leader Julius Malema has instructed his attorneys to oppose the application by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to have his estate sequestrated following his failure to pay his tax debt of R16m.
Nicqui Galaktiou from the Johannesburg law firm Brian Kahn confirmed she had been instructed to oppose the application. She said they had until February 18 to enter the notice to oppose and another three weeks after that to file an answering affidavit.
"Mr Malema is not giving comment at the moment but will be issuing a press statement, probably later today," she said.
SARS filed its notice of set down in the North Gauteng High Court asking for his sequestration, saying he was factually insolvent and it would be to the benefit of his creditors if his estate were sequestrated. Mr Malema tried to reach a compromise with SARS, suggesting he would borrow R4m for the full and final settlement of his debt. SARS rejected the offer.
He has been under investigation from 2010 after SARS alerted him that he had not filed income tax returns from 2005 to 2011 despite being a registered taxpayer.
Mr Malema subsequently submitted tax returns but his woes started when SARS questioned large amounts paid into his bank account and that of the Ratanang Family Trust, as well as the nondisclosure of certain assets associated with the trust.
The court documents referred to discrepancies in his explanations for where large amounts of money came from. "It is contended that these discrepancies are not conducive in concluding that the respondent (Mr Malema) has indeed made a full and frank disclosure to SARS and support SARS’s contention that it would be to the benefit of the respondent’s creditors to sequestrate his estate," SARS said.
SARS has requested the court to set the matter down for February 27.
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