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Gigaba: It’s difficult to respond to Zuma tax claims

The Presidency has denied these allegations saying Zuma’s tax affairs are in order, while Sars says it cannot comment on any taxpayer’s affairs because it’s against the law.

FILE: Malusi Gigaba. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Malusi Gig aba says it's difficult to respond to claims against President Jacob Zuma, saying the facts need to be handed over to the authorities.

Gigaba was responding to questions around Zuma’s alleged failure to submit his tax returns during the first years of his presidency.

The claims are contained in a new book by investigative journalist Jacques Pauw who also says Zuma was paid R1 million per month for a year, without declaring it to the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

The Presidency has denied these allegations saying Zuma’s tax affairs are in order, while Sars says it cannot comment on any taxpayer’s affairs because it’s against the law.

Gigaba told journalists outside a business conference in Durban on Tuesday that these are merely allegations.

“The Presidency has denied those rumours. Sars has not said that they are aware of any such non-payment of taxes and so providing the people who’ve made the allegations deliver evidence to Sars, then we’ll be able to take action. But, for now, I can’t be responding to rumours.”

RATING AGENCIES

Gigaba says he doesn't know why South Africans are looking for “bad news” because no one can predict what rating agencies will do.

Gigaba says he has spoken to Moody’s, Fitch and S&P Global in the wake of his maiden medium-term budget speech last week.

He revealed that the revenue shortfall is expected to be over R50 billion this year, severely eroding South Africa’s financial position.

Gigaba emphasised the need to focus on what needs to be done to strengthen the economy.

“You cannot predict what the rating agencies are going to say. Even when they decided that they’re going to maintain South Africa’s credit ratings a few months ago, everywhere you turned people were predicting that we’re going to be downgraded. I don’t know why South Africans are looking for bad news, let’s focus on the steps that we need to take.”

WATCH: Gigaba: Tough times ahead for SA

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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