Cape Town – Tax and exchange control experts claim there are still unanswered questions about the Phala Phala saga and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s tax compliance.
The South African Revenue Service (Sars) revealed on Tuesday that Ramaphosa was compliant with his tax obligations to date. Sars had received consent to disclose Ramaphosa’s tax status and that of his companies, Ntaba Nyoni Estate and Ntaba Nyoni Feedlot, following public interest.
“SARS wishes to confirm that the taxpayers are compliant with their tax obligations to date,” the revenue said on Tuesday.
On Monday, SARS authorities said they had found no record of the half-a-million dollars stolen from Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm being declared at customs.
The $580 000, which Ramaphosa has said was payment for 20 buffalo bought by a Sudanese businessman three years ago, is at the centre of allegations that almost cost him his job.
ALSO READ | Ramaphosa, Phala Phala ‘are tax compliant’ – SARS
Despite Ramaphosa’s transparency, The Citizen quoted tax and exchange control experts as saying that uncomfortable questions persisted, especially regarding non-compliance with the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Act, the Customs and Excise Act, and the Currency and Exchanges Act.
“I cannot see how the money entered the country legally in the first place. If it did there should have been proper documentation,” the report quoted a former South African Reserve Bank employee.
The report said any bank would have been quite suspicious of anyone trying to deposit or exchange large amounts of dollars.
They would have been obliged according to their internal governance rules to investigate the origin of the money, it said.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe