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Sars denies claims by Malema that Ramaphosa asked tax agency boss to probe EFF sponsors

EFF leader Julius Malema had a media briefing where he accused Sars of taking instructions from the president to investigate EFF funders. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

EFF leader Julius Malema had a media briefing where he accused Sars of taking instructions from the president to investigate EFF funders. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 3, 2023


The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has denied allegations that President Cyril Ramaphosa gave Sars Commissioner Edward Kieswetter an instruction to investigate the tax affairs of the guests that attended and sponsored the EFF Gala Dinner held on July 27.

Sars said that Kieswetter has on many occasions made it abundantly clear that if there were ever any undue influence on his work or if he were to be given unlawful instructions by any politician, he would immediately resign his position rather than undermine his oath of office.

According to the revenue entity, the commissioner has on numerous occasions cautioned that any Sars employee who takes instructions or colludes with any taxpayer is in breach of the law and faces dismissal.

It said Kieswetter worked relentlessly to rebuild Sars after it was repurposed by individuals to further the corrupt intent of State Capture.

“He would therefore work to protect the hard work of more than 12,500 Sars employees rather than entertain any unlawful request,” it added.

Sars was responding to the allegations and accusations made by the EFF leader, Julius Malema, that it was harassing the party sponsors with a view to finding anything unlawful against him for nefarious purposes.

During a media briefing this week, Malema told the media that the EFF’s 10th anniversary sponsors and funders were in hot water as Ramaphosa and Sars were investigating their financial records.

Malema alleged that Ramaphosa met with Kieswetter, and tasked him to conduct an investigation about guests that attended the gala dinner due to the extravagance and flamboyance displayed.

He said the meeting between Ramaphosa and Kieswetter took place on July 31 after the EFF’s 10th anniversary celebrations.

According to Malema, the investigation is to determine the nature of the business interests of the guests and if their tax affairs are up to date and if any of them are doing business with the State.

He claimed that Kieswetter appointed an investigator to run the project, which he wants to be concluded before December in order to act against whoever sponsored or funded the gala dinner.

"This is politicians wanting to use the State to settle political scores. The State is going to punish people for having made a political choice," he said.

He asked about the criteria that are used to determine that only those who donate money to the ANC are the ones who must get tenders.

He said the matter is supposed to be reported to the public protector, but they won't because the public protector is compromised. She said the acting public protector was a member of the ANC branch in Alexandra.

"So we won’t write to the ANC branch called (public protector) and humiliate ourselves in that way. We are going to ensure that we continue to expose their shenanigans until these people are held accountable because we can’t allow the State to be used as a tool of the ANC," Malema said.

In addition, Sars reminded all law-abiding citizens that the revenue authority collects revenue to build a capable State in order to address the major challenges of poverty, joblessness, and inequality and promote the well-being of all South Africans.

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