Business publication _Financial Mail _and the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism have filed an application in the North Gauteng High Court to access the tax returns of former president Jacob Zuma.
The joint application is the culmination of a process started by _Financial Mail _in February 2019, which saw its application to obtain Zuma's tax records for the period that he was head of state denied by the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
A founding affidavit states that "serious and credible evidence exists that former president Zuma's tax affairs were not in order while he was president".
Financial Mail journalist Warren Thompson says the application is two-pronged - to get hold of Zuma's tax returns, as well as to change the rules governing access to serve public interest.
When we sat down with our legal team and we looked at the existing laws we saw that they were fairly draconian in the circumstances.— Warren Thompson, Financial journalist
Under Paia (the Promotion of Access to Information Act) you cannot request the tax returns or records of an individual and under the Tax Administration Act, even for instance if I was given the tax returns, I was prohibited from writing about them.— Warren Thompson, Financial journalist
If the application is successful he says, it will also enable journalists to check on the integrity of SARS itself in terms of any difference in the treatment of senior political figures and ordinary citizens.
Find out more by listening to the conversation in the audio below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Financial Mail and amaBhungane head to court to obtain Zuma's tax records