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‘Former SARS deputy commissioner begged Zuma to submit tax returns’

President Jacob Zuma speaks at a church service in Durban where he slated the ANC's alliance partners. Picture Credit: Rogan Ward
President Jacob Zuma speaks at a church service in Durban where he slated the ANC's alliance partners. Picture Credit: Rogan Ward

Former SARS deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay‚ while he was still in office‚ begged President Jacob Zuma to submit his tax returns.

This is according to Jacques Pauw in his book‚ The President’s Keepers‚ in which he says Zuma failed to submit his tax returns for the first five years after he assumed office.

“I have impeccable sources in SARS… Around 2011/2012‚ it was common knowledge at SARS that Zuma had not submitted tax returns. In 2012‚ SARS receiving media enquiries‚ because the information was leaked‚” Pauw said on Radio 702 on Monday.

“This is also contained in documents I have that refer to a meeting between then-acting SARS commissioner Ivan Pillay and Jacob Zuma in February 2014‚ at which Zuma was urged to please submit his tax returns.”

Pauw said Pillay begged the president to submit his returns‚ and he told him he could not be treated differently from any other taxpayer.

“Less than a year later‚ the top structure at SARS was gone. Ivan Pillay was gone… they were all gone. Tom Moyane took over SARS.”

Zuma has denied Pauw’s allegations.

“The presidency rejects the allegations contained in media reports… claiming wrongdoing by President Jacob Zuma in relation to some undeclared funds‚” presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said.

In his book‚ Pauw says he distinguishes between the old SARS and the new SARS; the new SARS being the regime of Tom Moyane.

“It is possible that after Tom Moyane took power – remember‚ he is a crony of Jacob Zuma – he helped Zuma to be tax compliant‚” Pauw said.

“Certainly during the regime of the old SARS‚ Zuma did not want to submit his tax returns‚ probably because he was scared about what SARS knew‚ and how they would react against him.”

The crux of his book‚ Pauw said‚ dealt with the destruction of the law enforcement agencies – including SARS and the National Prosecuting Authority.

“I do make a statement that at least as far as the destruction of SARS is concerned‚ it was certainly to exonerate Jacob Zuma and his cronies and… investigation after investigation of Zuma cronies at SARS fell apart after Moyane took power.”

According to Pauw‚ SARS is in financial crisis‚ not only because of the economic climate‚ but also because of the destruction of investigative capacity at the revenue service.

Referring to his claim in the book that ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had received money from self-confessed smuggler Adriano Mazotti‚ Pauw said: “Mazotti is a very notorious person… the Zuma family runs like a golden thread through my book.

“Mazotti – I’ve got an affidavit that he signed on the 6 May 2014‚ that he made when he was trying to reach a settlement with SARS about his R6-million tax bill. In this affidavit he admits… a host of crimes... money laundering‚ corruption‚ fraud‚ tax evasion. He admits in the affidavit how he tried to bribe top SARS officials at the time with R800‚000 in cash… He’s a very‚ very notorious person‚” Pauw repeated.