Malema prepares for sequestration battle

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SAPA

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema

Johannesburg - EFF leader Julius Malema will oppose a final sequestration of his estate, his lawyer Tumi Mokwena said on Friday.

“We are going to oppose,” he said in an sms to Sapa.

Malema has until 10am on Monday to give the High Court in Pretoria reasons why his provisional sequestration should not be made final.

In April, a trust was launched to collect funds to settle his R16 million SA Revenue Service (Sars) bill, but it is not clear if the trust has secured enough funds to help the firebrand Economic Freedom Fighters leader.

Trust chairwoman Mandisa Mashego said a statement with an update would be issued soon.

Mashego and four other trustees launched the trust, referred to as the JSM Trust. The five trustees are all members of the EFF.

Sars spokesman Adrian Lackay would not say whether Malema had managed to pay his tax bill.

“The matter is scheduled on the court roll for 26 May 2014, Gauteng North High Court,” he said.

According to court documents, Malema owed R16m plus interest after failing to submit tax returns between 2006 and 2010.

In 2010 Sars contacted Malema about his failure to submit tax returns. It took Malema 18 months, after many attempts by Sars, to file his outstanding returns.

Malema also failed to register the Ratanang Trust for tax purposes, and Sars had to do this on his behalf. Sars attached some of Malema's property to recoup the taxes he owed.

In February, high court Judge Bill Prinsloo ordered that Malema's estate be provisionally sequestrated.

Malema and anyone else who did not want the order to be made final had until 10am on May 26 to give reasons why this should not happen.

A final sequestration order will affect Malema's political career, as he will not be allowed to serve as a Member of Parliament.

Malema, wearing a red overall and gumboots, was sworn in as an MP in the first sitting of the fifth democratic Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Despite the looming sequestration, the EFF and Malema have been adamant that he will not lose his place in the National Assembly.

Sapa


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