It is with alarm and concern that I read the media statement of SARS dated 2 June 2015 regarding the withdrawal of the sequestration application against myself. The statement is wrong and misleading in a number of respects. I am compelled to publically denounce the statement and to indicate what steps I will take to rectify the misrepresentations contained in it.
In order to understand the misrepresentations I have to explain what the actual disputes between myself and SARS were that were dealt with in court yesterday.
In January 2013 SARS applied for my provisional sequestration. This is the matter that was heard yesterday. It is a requirement for a sequestration that the applicant (SARS) is a creditor of the respondent. SARS intended to prove this requirement by relying on assessments that it issued concerning the 2005 to 2011 tax years. During May 2014 I entered into an agreement of compromise with SARS concerning those tax years. I paid each and every cent of the compromised debt. The effect of this was that I owed nothing relating to the 2005 to 2011 tax years and that SARS could not sequestrate my estate.
However, after I had paid the whole debt, SARS decided to unilaterally withdraw from the compromise, keep the money that I had paid and hold me liable for the original assessments. SARS delivered a further affidavit in the pending sequestration application alleging that the compromise is void. SARS applied for my sequestration on the basis of that affidavit. I denied on oath that I had not complied with the compromise agreement or that SARS had any right to overturn the compromise agreement and I opposed the sequestration application on this basis.
The essential fact that served before the court in the sequestration application was whether the compromise agreement is valid and binding or not. Purely for the sake of good order I brought a counter application against SARS that the compromise is valid. The counter application was dependent on the sequestration application and if there were no sequestration application, I would not have brought the counter application.
During the hearing on the 1st of June 2015, SARS was represented by four advocates. The presiding judge put a number of propositions to Mr Nic Maritz SC, the leader of the SARS team. The questions were sharp and to the point. During an adjournment Mr Maritz approached my senior counsel and Mr Maritz proposed a settlement of the matter on the basis that SARS would withdraw the sequestration application against me. The question as to costs was discussed and Mr Maritz tendered, on behalf of SARS, to pay my costs, including the costs of two counsel, for the appearance. This meant that my costs relating to the preparation of argument and so forth would be paid by SARS.
As the basis of the proceedings before the High Court would fall away if the sequestration application were to be withdrawn, it would be a natural consequence that there would be no need for the court to deal with my counter application. I therefore agreed that the counter application be withdrawn. It was as a consequence of SARS withdrawing the sequestration that the counter application was withdrawn.
I did not approach SARS to settle and I did not withdraw my application because I lost faith in it, as is suggested in the SARS media statement.
I have instructed my attorneys to address an urgent letter to SARS claiming that it must withdraw the malicious media statement. Should SARS refuse to do so I will urgently approach the High Court for an order that the compromise agreement is valid and that I do not owe any debt to SARS relating to the 2005 to 2011 tax periods.
It is regrettable that SARS is attempting to undo the events of the 1st of June 2015.
ISSUED BY THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS, JULIUS MALEMA