Shuttleworth loses court battle

The South African Reserve Bank welcomed the ruling against billionaire Mark Shuttleworth.

FILE: Mark Shuttleworth enters the "functional cargo block’s pressurised adapter" on the International Space Station on 27 April 2002. Picture: Wikimedia Commons"

PRETORIA - The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) has welcomed a court ruling that went against South African billionaire and space tourist Mark Shuttleworth.

He wanted Sarb to pay back R250 million, which formed part of a levy charged when he moved R2.5 billion out of the country.

The North Gauteng High Court on Friday found the 10 percent percent fee was constitutional and valid.

Sarb communications head Hlengani Mathebula said the bank "always maintained that the matter be articulated in court."

He also acknowledged that there may have been weaknesses in the law governing such transactions.

Mathebula added officials would rectify the problems.

Both sides were ordered to pay their own legal costs.

Lawyer Benjamin Cronin said Shuttleworth had a slim chance of winning the case.

He did however say there were many points raised in the case affecting the future of exchange controls.

Cronin also pointed out the 10 percent levy was no longer in place.

Exchange controls measures have eased since Shuttleworth moved his money, he added.

For a full explanation of how the process works and how it might affect you, listen to the interview with Cronin at the top of the page.