No secret meeting to target EFF donors, says Sars
Sars refutes claims that Edward Kieswetter was instructed by Ramaphosa to investigate the party’s gala dinner guests
The SA Revenue Service (Sars) has denied EFF leader Julius Malema’s claims that its boss, Edward Kieswetter, “secretly” met with President Cyril Ramaphosa and was “instructed” to hunt down the party’s donors.
Malema, at a wide-ranging briefing after the EFF’s 10th birthday celebrations, accused ANC leaders, including Ramaphosa, of waging a war against the party’s friends in business.
According to Malema, a reliable source told him that an instruction was given to conduct an investigation into all the guests who attended the EFF’s gala dinner due to the extravagance and flamboyance displayed.
The alleged investigation by Sars apparently must determine the nature of the business interests of the guests and whether their tax affairs are up to date. Malema alleged Kieswetter has appointed Gerhard Pretorius to carry out this project, which he wanted concluded before December, to act against whomever sponsored or funded the dinner and celebrations.
Malema had previously accused Sars of “harassing” his family in an effort to dig up unlawful activities on his part.
In a statement on Wednesday night, Sars noted Malema’s utterances and while it does not normally comment on statements “made about it in the party-political realm, it is duty bound on this occasion to issue a response”.
“Sars categorically and strongly denies that any such meeting between Ramaphosa and commissioner Kieswetter took place. Kieswetter has on many occasions made it abundantly clear that if there were ever any undue influence on his work, or if he were to be given unlawful instructions by any politician, he would immediately resign his position, rather than undermine his oath of office.
“Kieswetter has worked relentlessly to rebuild Sars after it was repurposed by individuals to further the corrupt intent of state capture. He would therefore work to protect the hard work of more than 12,500 Sars employees rather than entertain any unlawful request. He has also on numerous occasions cautioned that any Sars employee who takes instruction or colludes with any taxpayer is in breach of the law and faces dismissal,” the entity said.
Sars urged people “to restrain themselves from besmirching the image of this important institution that is critical for the sustenance and support of our democracy”.
It maintained it conducted its work lawfully and without fear, favour or prejudice.
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