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Press Release

Give corruption busters tools to halt industrial-scale looting, says TJSA

Monday 15 August, 2022 – MINISTERS must heed demands by crime-fighting agencies for more tools to investigate unexplained wealth if we hope to stop the industrial-scale looting of our country, Tax Justice SA (TJSA) warns today.

South African Revenue Service (SARS) Commissioner Ed Kieswetter is leading calls from corruption busters for new legislation to help combat tax crimes, illicit financial flows, money laundering and terror financing, which robs the state of an estimated R100 billion a year.

TJSA founder Yusuf Abramjee says: “Sophisticated criminal syndicates are stripping our nation of its assets and infrastructure while enforcement agencies appear powerless to stop them.

“The construction mafia, the illicit cigarette barons, criminal politicians, the gold, coal and diesel syndicates and crooked cops are among the battalions of bad actors amassing vast personal fortunes by looting our national resources.

“They are siphoning billions offshore while ordinary South Africans are starving. This is transnational organised crime on the grandest scale and enforcement agencies must be empowered to stop it.”

TJSA has launched its FightBack Charter 2022 calling for a range of emergency sanctions against transnational organised crime groups. Measures include swifter seizure of suspects’ assets, as well as penalties for banks and other financial institutions that conduct businesses with suspects.

“It’s shocking how SARS identified 26,000 individuals last year who were spending in excess of R1 million each but still haven’t registered as taxpayers,” said Abramjee.

“Similarly, companies brazenly flood the country with illicit goods that are offered openly for sale in our shops despite robbing the fiscus of billions of rand in vital revenue.

“Every South African is a victim of these crimelords who live in luxury while honest citizens are denied decent education, healthcare and shelter.

“SARS and other agencies like the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) must be given the tools to fight these enemies of the state and the justice system should be equipped to halt their acts of treason.”