Home News Tax woes deepen for South African firebrand Malema

Tax woes deepen for South African firebrand Malema

Published on 10/02/2014

A South African court declared left-wing firebrand Julius Malema provisionally insolvent on Monday, deepening his tax troubles but leaving him free to contest the upcoming election.

Malema was expelled from the ruling ANC in 2012 and has since become a thorn in the party’s side, lambasting President Jacob Zuma and founding the Economic Freedom Fighters to contest the May 7 general election.

Malema is accused by the South African Revenue Service of failing to submit tax returns between 2006 and 2010.

Judge Bill Prinsloo said he was satisfied that the tax office had justified the need to seize Malema’s assets.

“The estate of the respondent is placed in provisional sequestration,” the court order read.

A full sequestration would have spelt an end to Malema’s hopes of becoming a member of parliament, automatically disqualifying him from holding office.

His party said on Monday that the ruling was politically motivated and part of a “continuous onslaught to silence the agenda of economic freedom in our lifetime”.

Spokesman Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi said Malema, 32, would appeal the decision. He has until May 26 to do so.

The South African authorities have already auctioned off some of Malema’s assets, including his incomplete mansion and a farm to recoup over $2 million in unpaid taxes.

Malema is also facing a string of corruption charges, accused of using his political influence to arrange lucrative government contracts for his cronies.

His is also accused of receiving kickbacks, hidden in a family trust.

Malema’s has maintained that the charges are politically motivated but faces up to 15 year in prison if found guilty.

The trial is expected to resume in September.

Malema’s party calls for equal distribution of wealth and mineral resources.

His supporters are mainly disillusioned former ANC members and the will contest the upcoming vote for the first time.