Last year, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) president Julius Malema said he would become the country’s president this year after the elections. However, his dream may be shattered or delayed if the court’s provisional sequestration order against him is upheld in May. On Monday, the North Gauteng High Court provisionally sequestrated Malema due to the tax debt he owes the South African Revenue Services (SARS).
SARS filed a sequestration application against Malema in January 2013 when he failed to make arrangements to settle his debt. Malema owed SARS R16 million in tax before the auctioning of some of his assets last year. It is unknown how much is still outstanding. However, his incomplete Sandton mansion, Limpopo Farm and Polokwane house were auctioned for R3.5 million, R2.5 million and R1.4 million respectively, totalling to an amount of R7.4 million. If these numbers are accurate, it means Malema’s outstanding tax debt currently stands at around R8.6 million.
Malema or anyone else who is against Malema’s sequestration has up to the 26th of May to give reasons why his provisional sequestration should not be made final. In keeping with the South African Insolvency law, if the court decides to make the sequestration order against Malema final, he will not be allowed to be a member of parliament for a while. If that happens, he would have to settle the SARS debt and apply for rehabilitation. His insolvent status could take years to be terminated.
The EFF believes that SARS is being used by the ANC to silence Malema. “EFF is of the conviction that this sequestration by SARS remains part of a continuous onslaught to silence the agenda of economic freedom in our lifetime. In addition, it seeks to disqualify the most vibrant and radical representative voice of the disadvantaged, fighter Julius Malema from serving in parliament,” EFF Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.