Tuesday, 1 December 2020

BUYANGA TAKES SARS TO COURT AFTER R600M RAID

A Zimbabwean businessman has accused the South African Revenue Service (Sars) of illegally confiscating personal property belonging to him – including Kruger gold coins worth an estimated R600m – when they conducted a raid on his girlfriend’s house in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, last month.

The man, millionaire Frank Buyanga Sadiqi, said that personal jewellery, watches and cellphones were attached during the raid, and is now taking Sars to court in a bid to recover the “stolen” gold.

He said that the coins are “conservatively estimated” at over R600 million.

Buyanga Sadiqi, who lives in Sandton, is the founder of the African Medallion Group (AMG). The Sowetan reported that he said in an affidavit submitted to the Pretoria High Court that the Kruger rands are part of trading stock for the company, and that they were seized illegally, along with the other personal items he listed. He said that they acted in an unprofessional manner.

“Sars unlawfully, without justification and without my permission and against my protests seized from me and dispossessed me of gold (Kruger) coins that I had with me at the time,” he said.

“My involvement in the events of the day on which the illegal Sars raid took place, and the fact that the raid was illegally perpetrated on me and the companies with which I am associated with, render it essential that I be allowed to make common cause with her application,” he said in court papers.

He and his companies are being investigated by Sars, but he insists that he has only sought to help those suffering the effects of COVID-19, having spent over R5 million distributing food parcels to the poor.

He sad that his various businesses in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Liberia are the subject of an “intentional smear campaign being conducted via the offices of SARS to upset and denigrate the brand that I have built, that I am associated with through my companies.”

Buyanga Sadiqi has something of turbulent history with Sars – and cars, for that matter – and the revenue service said in 2018 that he needed to prove that his Rolls-Royce Ghost, imported from the UK, was not stolen.

He alleged that the manner in which those who conducted the raid questioned him about the ownership of his fleet of luxury cars had been out of line.

“During the illegal raid, Sars repeatedly questioned my decision to drive my BMW motor vehicle (which I generally drive every day) and expressed severe disappointment to the fact that I was not using one of my luxury motor vehicles,” he said.

Buyanga Sadiqi’s girlfreind, whose house was raided, lodged a complaint with the South African Police Service (SAPS) on 26 October, and Buyanga Sadiqi is adamant that prior to the raid he had made every effort to discuss the matter with Sars.

“My legal representatives, have on no less than two occasions (October 28 2020 and November 4 2020) officially extended written invitations to the officials of Sars to meet with their investigators and to address and answer all questions they might have,” he said in court papers.

Through his lawyers, William Wilcock Inc., Buyanga Sadiqi  claimed he tried in vain to arrange a meeting with Sars and be given details as to what the revenue collector needed to clear up the matter.

According to court papers, the Sars forfeiture unit raided Dube’s house on October 26. Dube filed a police report against Sars and later took the revenue service to court.

Now Sadiqi has approached the high court to be included in Dube’s case because he claims the forfeited gold belongs to him.

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