South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane should be careful about what he wishes for Jacques Pauw.
The SARS court application for a useless and probably unattainable declaratory order that Pauw has painted outside the lines of the law in revealing details of serious tax evasion and maladministration in The President’s Keepers could well attract a counter-application (or an intervention from a vigilant public interest litigant), to obtain declaratory, mandatory and supervisory relief against SARS in relation to its apparent maladministration of the tax affairs of the Zuma and Gupta families.
The public protector is already investigating these matters and will no doubt welcome Moyane’s tacit admission that what Pauw says about the strange goings on in relation to the administration of the tax affairs of the Guptas and President Jacob Zuma is the truth.
The only tax matters still in issue relate to the collection of back taxes, penalties and interest.
The constitutional delinquency involved in the president unlawfully appearing on the payroll of a Roy Moodley security company is another matter that gets blown wide open by the line Moyane has taken. He has blundered by suing, ostensibly to protect the president’s privacy, but inadvertently to raise the prospect of sinking him. The Al Capone option beckons alluringly.
Paul Hoffman SC
Director, Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa