Sars probes Malema-linked businessmanComment on this story
A Polokwane businessman – whose company allegedly benefited from the Limpopo government construction contracts – is being questioned for making donations to Julius Malema’s youth league.
In one instance, a bank deposit notification was sent to Malema, who was Limpopo youth league secretary at the time, after Johan Beukes’s company donated to the league. Beukes, 44, owns Mahlehle, a Polokwane-based construction company. His business premises and house were raided last May.
The donations were revealed this week in the Pretoria High Court.
Beukes tried unsuccessfully to interdict SA Revenue Services (Sars) from hauling him before a judicial inquiry. He is one of the businessmen - aligned to Malema - who were subpoenaed to appear before the inquiry.
The court, however, dismissed Beukes’s 11th-hour application. He appeared before the inquiry on Tuesday and Wednesday, his attorney Rian van der Walt confirmed. Beukes and his wife are accused of not complying with the Income Tax Act and the VAT Act - and according to the court papers, Sars contends that some of the payments made by the two contravened the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.
But affidavits filed in the Pretoria High Court as part of Beukes’s application also revealed details of Malema’s dealings with the Limpopo businessman.
Pieter Engelbrecht, Sars’s national co-ordinator of enforcement investigation, stated in the affidavit that during the raid of Beukes’s house in May, Sars confiscated electronic proof of payment documents that linked Beukes’s company Mahlehle to Malema.
The papers detail a fax cover and a letter allegedly from the ANC’s Youth League in Limpopo to Mahlehle in March 2007 requesting a contribution of R50 000 to a Nedbank account. The letter is signed on behalf of Malema. Sars contends that no contribution was declared in Beukes’s business books for income tax purposes.
The description on the beneficiary statement is Ally Boshielo, a close friend of Malema.
According to court papers, Beukes, a surveyor, declared a gross income of R655 317 for 2010 but documentation confiscated from the auditing firm showed that he earned R1.4 million a year from three companies.
In terms of his business interests, on the Limpopo tender bulletin from November 2010, Mahlehle is listed as one of several approved bidders in the construction and completion of RDP houses in Limpopo, under the department of Local Government and Housing.
Van der Walt denied a link between Beukes and Malema: “There is a link between my client and the ANC. It is on record that my client made two donations to the ANC and two donations to its youth league. He made donations to the DA and Cope. There were lots of requests but Sars and the state are only looking at anybody who made donations to the ANC in Limpopo. It seems there is a target to link my client to Malema,” he said.
Malema said yesterday that documentation of the donation came as no surprise as the youth league received donations from businessmen across the country, which Sars was trying to sensationalise.
“I know (Beukes) as a businessman in Limpopo. He is one of the many people who used to donate to the ANCYL. They even helped towards a house built by the Ratanang Trust by providing labour,” Malema said.
Sars spokesman Anton Fisher said Sars, by law, could not discuss the tax affairs of any taxpayer in the public domain, nor comment on any investigation.