Sars after another Malema allyComment on this story
ANC Youth League Limpopo secretary Jacob Lebogo, a close confidante of Julius Malema, owes the taxman R40 000 in unpaid income taxes dating from 2007.
Documents in the possession of The Sunday Independent showed that Lebogo under-declared or failed to pay his income tax during his stint in the public service between 2006 and 2007, a move that led to the Government Employees Medical Scheme refusing to issue him with a tax certificate and Sars pursuing him.
The Sunday Independent can reveal that Lebogo also benefited from On-Point Engineers, the firm co-owned by Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust and the youth leader’s trusted business ally, Lesiba Gwangwa.
On-Point and several of Malema’s business allies are the subjects of a Sars judicial inquiry for suspected tax evasion.
On-Point and Gwangwa are at the centre of investigations of alleged tender corruption, after being accused of benefiting from some of the R3.6 million worth of Limpopo roads contracts it managed as part of its project management unit contract.
Like Malema and Gwangwa – who are broke and owe the taxman millions of rand in under-declared or unpaid income taxes – Lebogo bought a string of luxury cars and properties within months of taking over as league secretary two years ago.
Malema’s childhood friend lives in a house at the Polokwane suburb of Flora Park, and signed an offer-to-purchase contract for another house worth more than R1m through On-Point Engineers.
Lebogo’s close ally said: “Sars have been pestering Lebogo about his taxes, but he has been ducking because he does not have the money to pay. He owes Sars R40 000.”
Lebogo, who is said to have been rattled by his tax issues, previously worked for the Limpopo premier’s office and the provincial Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism.
This was before his election as the league’s provincial secretary, a full-time position that pays about R30 000 a month.
A pension scheme letter to Lebogo, dated September 16 last year, said: “we are unable to issue a tax certificate, kindly request the certificate from your previous medical aid scheme”.
Lebogo did not respond to calls or an SMS sent to him this week.
Sars spokesman Adrian Lackay said the taxman did not and could not comment publicly on the affairs of any taxpayer regardless of whether it is a business, a trust or individual taxpayer.
He added that taxpayer confidentiality extended “to whether or not a taxpayer is under investigation. Taxpayer confidentiality ends only when a matter is formally brought before a court of law, other than a tax court. It then becomes a matter for public record.”
Lebogo was once accused of compiling and submitting to the Limpopo Health Department a list of companies and individuals to be employed or given contracts, an allegation he denied.
The Sunday Independent reported last week that Malema was broke and owed Sars R27m.
The paper also revealed that On-Point and Gwangwa faced a financial crisis and also owed the taxman millions of rand.
Despite making a profit of R10.2m last year, On-Point had spent the money on everything but the taxman.
Revelations that Lebogo benefited from On-Point came three weeks after The Sunday Independent reported that one of Malema’s business allies – Collen Mashawana – had bought suspended ANC Youth League spokesman Floyd Shivambu a BMW 5-Series worth R600 000. Shivambu is one of Malema’s closest political allies.