Cape Town — The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has confirmed that the record for the alleged $580 000 transaction between Sudanese businessman Hazim Mustafa and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm “could not be found and /or may not be in existence”.
SARS said the request for the matter to be looked into was logged by the DA’s leader John Steenhuisen in terms of section 18(1) of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) regarding the declaration of Mustafa.
“The SARS Information Officer, after an extensive search for the record in various SARS Passenger Processing Systems, and engagements with the relevant business units within SARS which he believed may be in custody of and/ or be in possession of and/or have knowledge of the records requested, was advised that the record could not be found and /or may not be in existence,” SARS said.
“The SARS Information Officer informed Mr Steenhuisen of the process followed, and accordingly, notified Mr Steenhuisen in terms of section 23(1) of PAIA. That SARS is not in possession of said record.”
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Speaking to Sky News, Mustafa said he would testify to shed light on his $580 000 cash purchase of 20 buffalos from Ramaphosa’s game farm.
When asked how he felt about being ‘the president’s alibi’, Mustafa said he was shocked and questioned why the money wasn’t sent to the bank.
“Once I gave the money, the ownership of the money has been transferred from me to him, and the receipt is my evidence for the payment,” he said.
SARS said that it will continue to “exercise its mandate without fear, favour, or prejudice” into this matter, continuing to comply with the provisions of Section 23(4) of PAIA.
If the record in question is found after March 5, 2023, Steenhuisen will be given access to the record unless access is refused on a ground for refusal contemplated in Chapter 4 of PAIA.
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Compiled by Junaid Benjamin