Sars considers probing Carnilinx 'illegal' deal under Moyane's watch

It has been widely reported and claimed by author and journalist Jacques Pauw that the former Sars boss made Carnilinx's R600 million tax debt go away.

FILE: Tom Moyane at a press briefing in Johannesburg. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has suggested that it may investigate an allegedly unlawful deal between the organisation under former commissioner Tom Moyane’s leadership and tobacco manufacturer Carnilinx.

It has been widely reported and claimed by author and journalist Jacques Pauw that Moyane made the cigarette company’s R600 million tax debt go away, an allegation company director Adriano Mazzotti vehemently denies.

Eyewitness News revealed on Monday that Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s wife Mantwa rents a Hyde Park property owned by Mazzotti, suggesting that the businessman may be more of an EFF benefactor than initially thought.

EWN asked Sars to comment on allegations that Moyane facilitated a deal between the organisation and Carnilinx, and its directors, including Mazzotti.

Among the claims is that more than 200 tons of tobacco destined for Carnilinx was seized, but later released using fraudulent paperwork. Sars declined to address the specific questions, citing taxpayer confidentiality.

However, it did say that where information related to taxpayers or Sars employees is provided to the revenue service, taxpayers should be assured that it is properly considered and followed up.

He adds that the reported 200 tons of seized tobacco belonged to another company and was not the property of Carnilinx.

MAZZOTTI REJECTS ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HIM

Mazzotti has denied that he or his company Carnilinx benefitted from an unlawful deal with the revenue service under Moyane's leadership in order to escape paying massive penalties for evading taxes.

If allegations that Moyane helped Mazzotti and his company’s tax troubles disappear, and Mazzotti is Malema’s benefactor - then it could explain the party’s recent support for the fired former tax boss and its attacks on the Nugent Commission of Inquiry.

Mazzotti has strongly denied he is Malema or the EFF’s benefactor, saying he and the party leader are long-time friends, and that Malema’s wife rents a property from him at a market-related price.

He outright rejects allegations that Moyane quashed a R600 million tax debt describing the allegation as preposterous, far-fetched and completely unsubstantiated.

Mazzotti says the irony is that Carnilinx has in fact paid about R600 million in taxes to the revenue service and that he and the company are fully tax compliant.

Malema did not answer specific questions about his and the EFF’s relationship with Mazzotti.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)