Daily Archives: February 19, 2018

SARS welcomes Presidential tax inquiry

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of an inquiry into tax administration and governance at the revenue service.

The South African Revenue Service welcomes President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation pledge to launch a Commission of Inquiry into tax administration and governance at SARS. SARS wishes to reiterate that it is committed to its role as an efficient and effective tax authority that collects revenue to support government’s developmental agenda, said the revenue service on Monday.

Delivering his maiden State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Friday evening, President Ramaphosa said the inquiry is at the request of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

At the request of the Minister of Finance, I will shortly appoint a Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance of SARS to ensure that we restore the credibility of the service and strengthen its capacity to meet its revenue targets, he said of the entity falling within the portfolio of National Treasury.

In its response on Monday, SARS said it will cooperate fully with the inquiry as soon as the terms of reference are finalised and received from the Presidency or Treasury.

SARS is looking forward to the inquiry, as this will assist SARS employees and its leadership to identify additional areas which seek focus and improvement. Added to that, the inquiry will assist SARS to clarifying a number of misconstrued issues, including dispelling the perception and continued negative media narrative that has the potential to dent the legitimacy of the organisation.

The revenue service said the next six weeks will be critical for it and the country as it strives to attain and surpass the R1.214 trillion revenue target set in October’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

All 14 000 staff, including the executive committee and management, are currently focused, working hard and continue to call and make a pledge to all South Africans to please do their national duty and obligation of paying their taxes as we take the country to the highest trajectory.

It urged taxpayers to use available service points such as eFiling, help-you-efile, the SARS mobi-site and mobi-app, branches and contact centres for assistance with their taxes.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SARS welcomes Presidential tax inquiry

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of an inquiry into tax administration and governance at the revenue service.

The South African Revenue Service welcomes President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation pledge to launch a Commission of Inquiry into tax administration and governance at SARS. SARS wishes to reiterate that it is committed to its role as an efficient and effective tax authority that collects revenue to support government’s developmental agenda, said the revenue service on Monday.

Delivering his maiden State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Friday evening, President Ramaphosa said the inquiry is at the request of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

At the request of the Minister of Finance, I will shortly appoint a Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance of SARS to ensure that we restore the credibility of the service and strengthen its capacity to meet its revenue targets, he said of the entity falling within the portfolio of National Treasury.

In its response on Monday, SARS said it will cooperate fully with the inquiry as soon as the terms of reference are finalised and received from the Presidency or Treasury.

SARS is looking forward to the inquiry, as this will assist SARS employees and its leadership to identify additional areas which seek focus and improvement. Added to that, the inquiry will assist SARS to clarifying a number of misconstrued issues, including dispelling the perception and continued negative media narrative that has the potential to dent the legitimacy of the organisation.

The revenue service said the next six weeks will be critical for it and the country as it strives to attain and surpass the R1.214 trillion revenue target set in October’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

All 14 000 staff, including the executive committee and management, are currently focused, working hard and continue to call and make a pledge to all South Africans to please do their national duty and obligation of paying their taxes as we take the country to the highest trajectory.

It urged taxpayers to use available service points such as eFiling, help-you-efile, the SARS mobi-site and mobi-app, branches and contact centres for assistance with their taxes.

Source: South African Government News Agency

SOUTH AFRICA: AJAY GUPTA, PROBED OVER ZUMA TIES, LEFT FOR DUBAI ON FEB 6 – AIRPORT

JOHANNESBURG– Ajay Gupta, one of three Gupta brothers under investigation over accusations of corrupt links to ousted South African president Jacob Zuma, has left the country for Dubai, a Johannesburg airport spokeswoman said.

The three brothers, accused by the public anti-graft watchdog of using their friendship with Zuma to influence policy and amass wealth, have denied any wrongdoing, as has Zuma.

Ajay Gupta was declared a fugitive from justice by South Africa’s chief prosecutor last week after he failed to report to police investigating allegations that millions of dollars of public money intended for a state-backed dairy project were siphoned off.

Leigh Gunkel-Keuler, a spokeswoman for Johannesburg’s main airport, said Ajay Gupta was on an Emirates flight bound for Dubai on Feb 6 at 8.30 p.m. local time.

A spokesman for the elite Hawks police unit that targets organised crime and corruption said it had made contact with the Gupta family’s lawyers but not yet located Ajay. He said police were only searching for Ajay, not his brothers Atul or Rajesh, contrary to some domestic media reports.

South Africa has no extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where Dubai is located and this could complicate South African authorities’ efforts to question Ajay Gupta – if he remained in the Gulf state.

A spokesman for the UAE embassy in South Africa was not available for comment.

Earlier this week the Hawks raided Gupta properties as part of investigations into the dairy farm in the Free State province. The farm was meant to benefit the local community but prosecutors described it as a scheme designed to defraud and steal.

After the raids, eight people, several of whom have worked for Gupta firms, appeared in a South African court on charges including fraud.

Among the eight were Gupta nephew Varun Gupta, who was an executive director of the Guptas’ Shiva Uranium firm. Zuma’s son Duduzane was also a director at Shiva Uranium.

Relations between the Guptas and Zuma, who resigned on Wednesday after being instructed to do so by the ruling African National Congress, are the focus of a separate judicial inquiry into high-level state corruption.

A top judge will investigate whether the Guptas sought to influence the appointment of cabinet ministers and were unlawfully awarded state tenders.

South Africa’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has made fighting corruption a top priority. He has said that police and prosecutors should be strengthened in the fight to root out graft.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

SOUTH AFRICA: AJAY GUPTA, PROBED OVER ZUMA TIES, LEFT FOR DUBAI ON FEB 6 – AIRPORT

JOHANNESBURG– Ajay Gupta, one of three Gupta brothers under investigation over accusations of corrupt links to ousted South African president Jacob Zuma, has left the country for Dubai, a Johannesburg airport spokeswoman said.

The three brothers, accused by the public anti-graft watchdog of using their friendship with Zuma to influence policy and amass wealth, have denied any wrongdoing, as has Zuma.

Ajay Gupta was declared a fugitive from justice by South Africa’s chief prosecutor last week after he failed to report to police investigating allegations that millions of dollars of public money intended for a state-backed dairy project were siphoned off.

Leigh Gunkel-Keuler, a spokeswoman for Johannesburg’s main airport, said Ajay Gupta was on an Emirates flight bound for Dubai on Feb 6 at 8.30 p.m. local time.

A spokesman for the elite Hawks police unit that targets organised crime and corruption said it had made contact with the Gupta family’s lawyers but not yet located Ajay. He said police were only searching for Ajay, not his brothers Atul or Rajesh, contrary to some domestic media reports.

South Africa has no extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where Dubai is located and this could complicate South African authorities’ efforts to question Ajay Gupta – if he remained in the Gulf state.

A spokesman for the UAE embassy in South Africa was not available for comment.

Earlier this week the Hawks raided Gupta properties as part of investigations into the dairy farm in the Free State province. The farm was meant to benefit the local community but prosecutors described it as a scheme designed to defraud and steal.

After the raids, eight people, several of whom have worked for Gupta firms, appeared in a South African court on charges including fraud.

Among the eight were Gupta nephew Varun Gupta, who was an executive director of the Guptas’ Shiva Uranium firm. Zuma’s son Duduzane was also a director at Shiva Uranium.

Relations between the Guptas and Zuma, who resigned on Wednesday after being instructed to do so by the ruling African National Congress, are the focus of a separate judicial inquiry into high-level state corruption.

A top judge will investigate whether the Guptas sought to influence the appointment of cabinet ministers and were unlawfully awarded state tenders.

South Africa’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has made fighting corruption a top priority. He has said that police and prosecutors should be strengthened in the fight to root out graft.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Operations at OR Tambo normal after evacuation

Operations are back to normal at OR Tambo International Airport in Ekurhuleni, following the discovery of an unattended bag earlier in the day.

Speaking to SAnews, Senior Manager Corporate Affairs at the airport Leigh Gunkel-Keuler, said the bag was found near the international arrivals airport terminal.

Upon the discovery of the bag, the airport Canine Unit and the South African Police Service (SAPS) were called to scene, she said.

It was then that the vicinity was vacated.

Pictures of crowds outside the airport circulated on social media following the evacuation.

However, I can confirm that as of 15 minutes ago, things are back to normal at the airport, she said.

Source: South African Government News Agency