"Something's Fishy Here": SA Suspicious About Court's Decision to Grant Media Access to Zuma's Tax Records

"Something's Fishy Here": SA Suspicious About Court's Decision to Grant Media Access to Zuma's Tax Records

  • The Financial Mail and amaBhungane have been allowed access to former President Jacob Zuma's tax records
  • The South African Revenue Services has been given 10 days to surrender Msholozi's records to the two publications
  • South Africans are questioning the court's decision and are wondering why the same order was not made for the CR17 bank statements

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PRETORIA - Former President Jacob Zuma's tax records can now be accessed by two media organisations, namely the Financial Mail and investigative journalism group amaBhungane.

This comes after a ruling by the North Gauteng High Court sitting in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Jacob Zuma, tax records, SARS, Pretoria High Court, amaBhungane, Financial Mail
SARS will have to hand over Jacob Zuma's tax records to two media houses. Image: Michele Spatari
Source: Getty Images

The South African Revenue Services has thus been ordered to provide both publications with Zuma's tax records from the time period between 2010 and 2018 and SARS needs to do so in 10 days, according to TimesLIVE.

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The publications launched a motion to access Zuma's tax records in 2019. They claimed that the legislative system fails to strike the proper constitutional balance between freedom of expression and privacy rights.

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Judge Norman Davis also determined that provisions of the Tax Administration Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) were unconstitutional because they prevented the two organisations from obtaining tax documents, according to News24.

The Constitutional Court, on the other hand, will have to ratify Davis' conclusions.

Zuma did not participate in the hearing

Although the court hearing was centred around Msholozi's tax records, the former president did not take part in the court proceedings. Davis stated that Zuma did not oppose the application made by amaBhungane and the Financial Mail.

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Davis also noted that Zuma did not submit an affidavit to oppose the allegations brought forward by the media houses that he did not submit his tax returns and he owes SARS millions.

Mzansi reacts to the High Court's decision

Taking to social media, South Africans shared their thoughts on Zuma's tax records being made available to the Financial Mail and amaBhungane. Some people want to understand why President Cyril Ramaphosa's CR17 bank statements are still sealed.

Here's what they had to say:

@skmkhize_ said:

"I'm not a Zuma fan but there's something fishy here while CR 17 records are still sealed?"

@roland_bambe said:

"Yet the same court ruled against the PP when it was requesting the same documents. Are these judges mad or what, always making contradicting judgements."

@Vuyo_Ro said:

"Lol, if some investigative journalist can ask to access Ramaphosa's tax records, the court outcome would be different."

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@peter_mathibe said:

"This is definitely Not about President Zuma; this is about judiciary losing credibility; if they ever had any left. What is this?"

@stephen_moatshe said:

"This is very sad actually, so the Public Protector, a Chapter 9 institution, is prohibited from accessing tax records of Zuma but journalists are permitted? Someone make it make sense."

@syandah20 said:

"It is called personal income tax of which SARS has a right to know them for compliance. For what good reason do media houses are granted that right. no journalists will have to investigate or use sources to gather information relating to returns. They can just go to court."

“Court cases coming up”: Mzansi suspicious about Jacob Zuma’s recent hospitalisation

Briefly News previously reported that former President Jacob Zuma's family has confirmed that Msholozi has been admitted to hospital for what seems to be a routine check-up.

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Zuma's family members say they are not too worried about his hospitalisation as he goes in from time to time.

Khanya Zuma, Msholozi's brother, says Zuma left his home on Monday afternoon, 15 November and says there is nothing seriously wrong with his brother, according to a report by TimesLIVE.

Source: Briefly News

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