Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
29 Mar 2022
3:49 pm

AfriForum asks ANC to show SA all their tax records from 1994 till now

Citizen Reporter

This follows a report, dismissed by the ANC, that the party was given an ultimatum to settle its unpaid R100 million tax bill.

General views of the African National Congress (ANC) headquarters Luthuli House in Johannesburg on 9 December 2020. Picture: Michel Bega

Lobby group AfriForum has submitted a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to the South African Revenue Service (Sars), requesting the tax records and returns of the governing ANC from 1994 till now.

In its application, submitted on Monday, AfriForum also asked Sars whether the ANC had received any preferential treatment over its alleged unpaid taxes.

This follows a Daily Maverick report on Monday that the ANC was given an ultimatum by Sars to either settle its unpaid R100 million tax bill or have its assets attached.

ALSO READ: ANC dismisses tax evasion allegations as ‘abhorrent and irresponsible’

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe dismissed the report, describing it as inaccurate, malicious and dubious.

He said the ANC continued to pay all taxes and debts owed to Sars.

“The ANC is neither aware nor informed of such an ultimatum by Sars and therefore dismisses such inaccurate, malicious, dubious and divisive media reports with the contempt they deserve.

“Matters of taxation of the ANC are private and handled by the treasurer general’s office who engages with Sars from time to time on such affairs,” Mabe said in a statement.

PAIA application

In a letter addressed to Sars from AfriForum’s lawyers, Hurter Spies, the organisation said the reason for their application was to “ascertain the tax standing and historical tax record of the ANC, as well as collection efforts by Sars regarding the ANC’s estimated R100 million in outstanding income tax payments, as per several media reports.”

AfriForum wants Sars to furnish it with the following information or records:

  1. The tax records and returns for the ANC from the year 1994 to today.
  2. The full amount in arrears, if any, which is due and payable by the ANC to Sars.
  3. An indication of the steps taken by Sars to collect this outstanding amount from the ANC.
  4. If Sars has not yet taken formal steps, to provide reasons for the failure to do so.
  5. Provide an indication of whether the ANC enjoys preferential treatment in tax collection matters, and if so, what the legal and rational basis for such treatment is.

AfriForum said in September 2021 it sent a letter to Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter, requesting details regarding the alleged R102 million owed to the tax collection agency by the ANC.

But the organisation said it received no answer from Kieswetter.

“Even though the ANC owes over R102 million in taxes, they still lecture citizens on why their tax money must fund a R50 million donation to Cuba,” said Ernst van Zyl, AfriForum’s campaign officer for strategy and content.

“The walls are closing in on the ANC. In March AfriForum was able to halt the ANC’s donation to Cuba, and now we will fight to provide the public with clarity regarding this matter.”

Van Zyl was referring to the organisation’s successful application at the Pretoria High Court last week to interdict the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) from donating R50 million in humanitarian aid to Cuba.  

Judge Brenda Neukircher granted AfriForum’s urgent interdict, pending the final outcome of an application to be instituted by the lobby group to review and set aside the humanitarian aid to Cuba, that’s part of Dirco’s African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund.

Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe

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