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Public must be kept informed on Zuma tax claims, Mpofu tells ConCourt

Representing the Office of the Public Protector, advocate Dali Mpofu made submissions to the Constitutional Court on Thursday in a matter probing whether Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane's powers to subpoena extended to taxpayer information.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Advocate Dali Mpofu has stressed the importance of the public being kept in the loop regarding state affairs.

Representing the Office of the Public Protector, Mpofu made submissions to the Constitutional Court on Thursday in a matter probing whether Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane's powers to subpoena extended to taxpayer information.

The case stems from Mkhwebane seeking access to former President Jacob Zuma's tax records.

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) declined the request on the basis that it went against the secrecy and confidentiality regime stipulated in the Tax Administration Act.

Advocate Busiswe Mkhwebane wanted to scrutinise former President Jacob Zuma's tax records following claims that he received payments from Royal Security and failed to pay income tax on them.

Mkhwebane approached the Constitutional Court after the High Court of Pretoria ruled in favour of Sars that her powers did not extend to accessing tax records.

Mpofu stressed why Mkwebane having access to the records was so important.

"Remember Chief Justice, as I said, this is not a small thing of someone who stole R20 from the municipality, this is about the president of the country, no less, who is said to have received a salary while we were paying him as taxpayers."

Mpofu said that the public must be kept informed on whether the claims made against Zuma were true or not.

"The public must know, sooner rather then later, so that appropriate steps can be taken, if we were indeed being taken for a ride by somebody who was getting two salaries on the side and even disclosing it to Sars."

Judgment in the matter was reserved.

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