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Sars wins right to preserve Krok assets

The North Gauteng High Court on Friday confirmed a preservation order granted to Sars.

FILE: Sars has won its case to preserve the assets of Mark Krok. Picture: Sars.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Services (Sars) on Friday won its case against billionaire heir Mark Krok.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria confirmed a preservation order granted to Sars.

Sars' Australian counterpart the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been trying to ring-fence Krok's South African assets while it attempts to build a case of tax evasion against him.

The heir to an apartheid-era skin-lightening company's assets amounting to R228 million will be affected, including a R37.5 million Clifton mansion.

The ATO aims to recover R235 million in what they claim is outstanding taxes.

Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay says the ruling will serve as a landmark precedent.

"The area of mutual assistance and cooperation between revenue authorities in different countries is quite new."

He says there are provisions for this in the laws for both South Africa and Australia, but these have never been properly tested in court.

"A high court in South Africa now finds that our legal approach is correct - that we can assist Australia to recover these outstanding taxes. It effectively means that almost R300 million of assets in the name of this individual can now be put under preservation."

Lackay says this will be administered by a curator.

Sars believes this case will allow future cases to run more smoothly.

It will also help improve cooperation between South Africa and other countries.