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Zuma to Sars: Let Mkhwebane do her job

Former President Jacob Zuma has entered the fray in the battle between Sars and Busisiwe Mkhwebane over whether the Public Protector has powers to subpoena taxpayers’ information.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma addressing his supporters outside the state capture commission on 19 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma has called on the South African Revenue Service (Sars) to allow Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to do her job.

Zuma has entered the fray in the battle between Sars and Mkhwebane over whether the Public Protector has powers to subpoena taxpayers’ information.

* ALSO READ: Zuma: 'I have nothing to hide'

Last month, Mkhwebane subpoenaed Zuma’s tax records as part of her investigation into a 2017 complaint from the Democratic Alliance claiming that the former president allegedly pocketed undeclared money from a security company during his presidency.

Sars has taken her to court to prevent her from accessing the information, arguing that this would have dire consequences.

The tax revenue’s Commissioner Edward Kieswetter insisted that the Public Protector could not be given taxpayers' information.

He also said Mkhwebane was mistaken to believe she had powers to subpoena such confidential records.

“The commissioner of Sars and all officials are legally compelled to uphold the confidentiality of that information, except under specific legal circumstances. The specific legal circumstances do not apply to the Public Protector.”

However, Zuma said he had no problem with his tax information being given to Mkhwebane.

In fact, he said no one should make her job difficult, adding that “if she wants my records, she must have them”.