Jacob Zuma says SARS must hand over his tax records to Public Protector
Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma has finally broken his silence on the raging nasty legal battle between the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and the Public Protector, who are in a battle over his past tax records.
Zuma says the Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane should be given the records as requested and she must not be hindered in doing her work.
The court battle before the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria was sparked by Mkhwebane’s request to SARS to have Zuma’s tax records in order to carry out an investigation. This comes after it was alleged in a book by Jacques Pauw that Zuma received R1 million a month from Durban businessman Roy Moodley.
SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter argued that this information should remain within his agency’s orbit and she wants the court to bar Mkhwebane from getting them.
In a thread posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Zuma said no one has consulted him about the matter and heard about it once it was in the public domain. He insisted he has nothing to hide.
“I need to clarify that I have never refused the office of the PP access to investigate my affairs. This country knows very well that the former PP @ThuliMadonsela3 investigated me on a number of occasions and made findings against me, he said in the thread.
On the third part of the thread, Zuma said: “I never refused nor hid anything she wanted to investigate. Even where I personally thought she was going beyond her mandate and powers, I still obliged because I respect the office of the @PublicProtector and therefore I am not part of the contestation of my tax records.”
“It must be known that I have nothing to hide. If the @PublicProtector wants to see my SARS records she is free to do so. We should not make the job of the PP difficult. If she wants my records, she must have them,” Zuma ended the thread.
As expected, the tweets were retweeted several times and a debate ensued with others saying the statement was a “chess move” and others saying if SARS refuse to hand them, he must personally give them to Mkhwebane.
Meanwhile, Moodley told Independent Media on Thursday that he laid criminal charges against Pauw and because there is an ongoing investigation, he cannot comment about the matter. He said he was hopeful that the SAPS would be done with the investigations in a month or so and thereafter he would comment on the matter.