Busisiwe Mkhwebane is free to access my tax records: Jacob Zuma

Former president Jacob Zuma says public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is free to access his tax records
Former president Jacob Zuma says public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is free to access his tax records
Image: Jackie Clausen.

Former president Jacob Zuma has entered the battle between the public protector and South African Revenue Service (Sars) over his tax records.

SowetanLIVE's sister publication Business Day reported on Monday that Sars has launched an urgent court bid to prevent public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane from accessing Zuma's tax information.

In a statement posted on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, Zuma said though he has not been consulted in relation to the court challenge, he has no problem with the public protector accessing his tax records.

"I hear that my SARS records are being contested in court by (Sars commissioner Edward) Kieswetter.

"No one has consulted me about this matter. Furthermore, I have been informed that the office requesting these records is the office of the @PublicProtector (PP) @AdvBMkhwebane.

"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.

"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," posted Zuma.

"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."

According to the Business Day article wants the high court in Pretoria to urgently stay the implementation of an October 21 subpoena issued by Mkhwebane to obtain Zuma’s taxpayer information, which she is seeking in connection with a November 2017 complaint laid by then DA leader Mmusi Maimane about payments Zuma allegedly received from a security company in the first months of his presidency.

Kieswetter wants the high court to order that Sars officials are permitted to withhold taxpayer information — specifically, "any information provided by a taxpayer or obtained by Sars in respect of the taxpayer, including biometric information" — from the public protector.

SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE further reported yesterday that Mkhwebane indicated that she will Sars's court bid.

Mkhwebane is seeking this information in connection with a November 2017 complaint laid by then DA leader Mmusi Maimane about payments Zuma allegedly received from a security company in the first months of his presidency.

Public protector spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said on Monday afternoon that Mkhwebane would oppose the application.

"She filed a notice to do so. The answering affidavit will be filed soon," said Segalwe.

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