#TakeBackTheTax spokesperson Yusuf Abramjee. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – #TakeBackTheTax has noted a legal threat by Gold Leaf Tobacco saying “we will not be silenced or intimidated and we will continue to expose the illegal cigarette trade until they pay their taxes or Sars wakes up and shuts them down.”

An Ipsos study – commissioned by the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (Tisa) and published yesterday – shows that RG (the brand owned by Gold Leaf Tobacco), is the biggest selling brand on the market, selling for R10 a pack which can only mean it is an illegal tax dodging brand.  

It is clearly not paying the taxes owed of R17.85 per pack.  

#TakeBackTheTax said: “Gold Leaf Tobacco cannot sue facts. If they want to try, we are ready and stand by all of our statements relating to the Ipsos report. Otherwise, Gold Leaf and other illegal cigarette companies should stop wasting time with spurious legal threats and pay their taxes like everyone else.  

“And if they do not, Sars should stop fiddling while the economy burns and close them down.”  

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The evasion of taxes by those implicated in the Ipsos report means that South Africa is losing at least R8 billion annually in taxes. This is unacceptable and this is illegal, said #TakeBackTheTax. 

#TakeBackTheTax said it would not be intimidated or gagged by Gold Leaf’s legal threats and their ridiculous demand of R50 million from its spokesperson, Yusuf Abramjee. 

“These types of bullying tactics are unacceptable and we will fight this in court and allow the issue to be tested in a court of law,” said Abramjee. 

He added: “#TakeBackTheTax is very eager to see how a court of law will view this flagrant disregard of South Africa’s tax laws.” 

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