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Press Release

All state authorities must follow SARS’s stand against corruption

Wednesday 28 February 2024 – TAX Justice SA (TJSA) welcomes confirmation that the taxman has laid a damages claim of more than R4.87 billion against Sasfin Bank for links to alleged money-laundering and is demanding that other state authorities do their job and arrest criminal kingpins involved.

South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Ed Kieswetter said in a statement that the legal action had been taken in his “commitment to pursue the enforcement and recovery of taxes without fear, favour or prejudice in the interest of upholding the fiscal integrity of the South African tax system”.

TJSA founder Yusuf Abramjee said: “The Gold Mafia investigation showed how corrupt officials at Sasfin allegedly colluded with operatives from Gold Leaf Tobacco Corporation (GLTC) to launder billions in stolen taxes and siphon that vital state revenue overseas.

“SARS should be applauded for seeking to punish Sasfin for allowing this economic sabotage to happen. Now other enforcement agents like the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must also do their duty, arrest the masterminds and lock them up.

“For years, kingpins of the illicit cigarette trade have been allowed to loot our national on an industrial scale. They are making billions by stealing the taxes that should be spent on essential services like education, health and housing.

“Now our police, prosecutors and courts must be held to account. Cops must seize the billions of cigarettes that are being sold at a fraction of their legal price and the makers of those illicit products must have their licences withdrawn.

“Above all, the criminal kingpins who have flouted the law for so long must be brought to justice. South Africa can afford to be a gangsters’ paradise no longer.”