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Press Release

Tax Justice SA welcomes SARS commitment to crack down on the criminals looting South Africa of billions

Thursday 23 January 2020 – A PLEDGE by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to crack down on the illicit economy is hailed today by Tax Justice South Africa (TJSA) as an important first step in the fight against criminals looting our nation of billions every year.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter has made a commitment to work with other government agencies to stamp out illegal trading that is “a threat to our people and sovereignty”.

The criminal gangs behind the illicit textile, metal, fuel and tobacco industries are costing South Africa billions of rand which should help to fund a better nation for all, the SARS statement on Wednesday added.

Welcoming the commitment, TJSA founder Yusuf Abramjee says: “The support of the Commissioner and of SARS is crucial if we are to stop these crooks stealing money that should be spent on building new schools, securing clean water supplies and creating social housing.

“Organised criminal gangs are crippling our society. Their illegal trading is not just taking tax revenues from government, it is destroying local businesses and stealing the money earmarked for our children’s education, for housing and for basic safety.

“With the money lost to illegal clothing imports in a single month, the government could afford to hire an extra 3,600 teachers for an entire year.

“The SARS statement focuses on the illegal clothing and textile industry, but it is the same story across multiple sectors, including alcohol, cigarettes, fuel and pharmaceutical drugs.

“Recognition of the scale of this scourge and SARS’ commitment to tackle it is an important first step. But we also need other authorities, including police and prosecutors, to step up to the challenge.

“For too long, tax-dodging criminals have been given a free pass to enrich themselves and fund other unlawful enterprises, while ordinary South Africans struggle to make ends meet.

“We need to bring these criminals to justice and ensure they are put behind bars once and for all to stop the illegal economy destroying our country completely.

“We need to follow the money, catch the criminals and lock them up.”

Notes to Editor

The establishment of Tax Justice South Africa is a rallying cry to the people and to Government to take action against organised criminal gangs that are plundering South Africa. 

Founded by Yusuf Abramjee, Tax Justice South Africa will campaign for a lawful and prosperous South Africa and for urgent action against criminals who steal billions in legally due taxes every year.

Every day approximately R100 million is looted from South Africa by criminal tax evaders, undermining the Government and the rule of law, and robbing its people of a brighter future. 

Tax Justice South Africa will work to raise awareness of this national menace and show how these stolen funds could be used to build a better nation.

The campaign is supported by Makali Lepholisa, former Commissioner for Customs in  Lesotho, and Andy Mashaile, Interpol Turn Back Crime Ambassador, who join Yusuf as the Directors of Tax Justice South Africa.


For media queries contact Yusuf Abramjee, and +27 82 441 4203