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Sars accused of double standards over Jacques Pauw legal action

Former Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay claims that Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane has over the years refused to take action on information of tax payers affairs that was leaked to the public.

Author of 'The President's Keepers' Jacques Pauw in studio with Radio 702 host Eusebius McKaiser. Picture: Radio 702.

JOHANNESBURG - Former South African Revenue Services (Sars) spokesperson Adrian Lackay has accused the revenue service of double standards for taking legal action against author Jacques Pauw.

Pauw’s book, The President’s Keepers, contains allegations against President Jacob Zuma relating to corruption and irregularities with his tax affairs.

The Presidency has denied the claims and the State Security Agency has threatened to have the book pulled from shelves.

Lackay claims that Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane has over the years refused to take action on information of tax payers affairs that was leaked to the public.

“Now we come to 2017. A book is published, a very brave and courageous effort, I may add, by Mr Jacques Pauw and his publishers and exposures are made about the tax affairs of the head of state.

“Suddenly, the revenue services jumps into action, suddenly they’re threatening criminal charges.”

Lackay says that Sars has never taken criminal action against individuals and companies who are accused of tax evasion in South Africa.

“If you want to throw the book at Jacques Pauw, what have you done about multiple other cases that come to your attention through media reports in the public domain where there’s sufficient information to at least make you suspicious about tax evasion and tax-related crimes?

“And the answer is probably that they have not done anything.”

He was speaking on 702 and Cape Talk on Monday night.

Meanwhile, the family of former State Security Agency Director-General Arthur Fraser is demanding that Pauw withdraw his book and is seeking legal advice to force him to do this.

Pauw implicates Fraser in wrongdoing but his family insists the claims are not true.

Media law expert Dario Milo says threats against Pauw amount to censorship and are not democratic.

He also says it’s not always necessary to give someone a right of reply in a book.

“Provided that you’re sure that your sources are reliable, that you’re publishing substantial truth and what you’re saying is in the public interest, it actually doesn’t matter.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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