Sars details why it's challenging the ruling to unseal Zuma’s tax records

Sars is fighting the decision by the court, which said that it should furnish investigative journalism unit AmaBhungane and business magazine 'Financial Mail' with the former president's records.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Service (Sars) on Wednesday said if a High Court ruling that had instructed the agency to unseal former President Jacob Zuma's tax records went unchallenged, it would undermine the sacrosanct principle of the confidentiality of taxpayer information.

Sars is fighting the decision by the court, which said that it should furnish investigative journalism unit amaBhungane and business magazine Financial Mail with the former president's records.

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In 2019, the media houses lodged an application for access to Zuma's tax history between 2010 and 2018.

Sars said its commissioner Edward Kieswetter received legal advice and strong recommendation to apply for leave appeal the High Court judgment.

In a statement on Wednesday, the revenue service said confidentiality was the bedrock upon which the work of Sars was based.

Kieswetter said every taxpayer was equal before the law and it would apply the relevant laws without fear, favour or prejudice.

He has assured the public that Sars will defend the principle of confidentiality on behalf of every single taxpayer.