Johannesburg - If Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema is given a final sequestration order by the Pretoria High Court, he will hold the record for the shortest stint as a member of Parliament.
Malema took the oath to serve as an MP on Wednesday alongside 24 other EFF members. The new party won 25 seats in the national elections. At the swearing-in ceremony presided over by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Malema and members of his party wore red overalls and domestic workers’ uniforms. But Malema’s stay in Parliament might be short-lived if the SA Revenue Service gets its way and he is sequestrated.
If sequestrated, Malema would immediately be disqualified as an MP, but he could appeal against the court’s decision. Sequestrated people cannot serve as MPs.
EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the party would comment on the case only after this morning’s court appearance.
Malema had until 10am this morning to inform the court why his provisional sequestration should not be made a final order. The revenue service claims Malema owes R16 million in unpaid taxes after failing to submit tax returns between 2006 and 2010. He also failed to register his Ratanang Trust for tax purposes to Sars. In the battle, Sars has also attached some of Malema’s belongings to recoup the money he owes.
Last year, Sars auctioned off his half-completed Sandown home for R5.99m. This followed the sale of his personal possessions, including a Mercedes Vito, which had been stored at another house in Sandown he’d been renting.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit auctioned off his 140-hectare farm for R2.5m last June. The unit attached the farm as it believed the property had been bought with the proceeds of crime, after a R52m tender had allegedly been awarded illegally to On-Point Engineering.
Malema, On-Point director Lesiba Gwangwa and Kagisho Dichabe are due in court in September on charges of racketeering and money laundering relating to the tender.
After Malema’s provisional sequestration in February, a trust fund – the Julius Sello Malema Trust – was formed to raise funds to pay off his R16m tax bill.
The fund aimed to raise the funds by the end of last month, but nothing has been divulged on the developments. Trust chairman Mandisa Mashego said the trust would soon release a statement giving an update on its activities.