Why media houses want access to Zuma's tax returns

The Financial Mail and AmaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism are forging ahead in their fight to have access to records of senior officials.

Last month the media houses filed papers in the North Gauteng High court seeking to access former president Jacob Zuma's tax returns.

The appeal request was denied by the South African Revenue Services (SARS), citing the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) and the Tax Administration Act (TAA).

Africa Melane, standing in for Eusebius McKaiser, speaks to Financial Mail's Warren Thompson about the matter.

We would like to access former president Zuma's tax returns for the years he was president from 2010 to 2018.

Warren Thompson, Financial journalist - Financial Mail

We would also like to change the law or amend the law in terms of PAIA and the Tax Administration Act to extend it to tax returns of senior officials.

Warren Thompson, Financial journalist - Financial Mail

We think that the Tax Administration Act is unconstitutional because even if journalists were given these records they are excluded from reporting on them.

Warren Thompson, Financial journalist - Financial Mail

Thomson says their application will only apply to senior officials and if they are tax compliant.

Newzroom Africa's specialist reporter and editorial contributor Karyn Maughan says the challenge by the media houses has the potential to set a massive precedent.

There has been a profound and understandable reluctance from the revenue service to allow any kind of disclosure of this nature.

Karyn Maughan, Specialist reporter and editorial contributor - Newzroom Africa

SARS's' attitude has always been: 'We are not going to allow you access to this information.'

Karyn Maughan, Specialist reporter and editorial contributor - Newzroom Africa

Listen to the full interview below...


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