File photo

Cape Town - South Africa’s High Court upheld a provisional order enabling tax authorities to seize assets worth about 297 million rand belonging to Mark Krok, pending resolution of his dispute with the Australian Tax Office.

“The provisional preservation order made by this court on February 18, 2013 is confirmed,” Judge Hans Fabricius of Pretoria’s Gauteng North High Court, said in his ruling, which was circulated today by the South African Revenue Service, or SARS.

Krok inherited his fortune from his father Abe, who together with his brother Solly made millions of rand selling skin-lightening products to black South Africans and establishing a resort and casino company.

In 2012, the Australian Tax Office requested South Africa’s help to recover taxes owed to it by Mark Krok, under a double-tax accord that had been concluded between the two countries.

SARS then seized Krok’s shares and cash, two properties and a vehicle.

Krok should provide clarity on his tax liability, which currently stands at 235 million rand, failing which SARS would demand full payment and take the necessary steps to collect it, the revenue service said in an e-mailed statement today.

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer, a Johannesburg-based law firm representing Krok, did not immediately respond to a message left by phone at their offices.

Krok lodged an objection to his tax assessment, which was dismissed in 2012, and the Australian government says this means the debt is no longer in dispute and should be paid, according to the judgment. - Bloomberg News