Joburg criminal lawyer admits to bribing.
Last month Noseweek and other media reported that the chief financial officer of the Financial Services Board, Dawood Seedat, had suddenly resigned following disclosures that he had received large sums in cash from wealthy Johannesburg businessman Edrees Ahmed Hathurani, MD and major shareholder of a large retail chain, Africa Cash ’n Carry. The payments, totalling several million rand, had allegedly been extorted from him by Seedat and associates in the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in return for making his tax troubles “go away”.
It transpires the issue has a long and complicated history, and that Hathurani and some of his associates and advisors may themselves yet have a lot more to explain. And that they are not new to the idea of paying to have their problems with officialdom disappear.
Court records show that in February 2010 Hathurani received an income-tax assessment requiring him to pay a spectacular R580 million in respect of arrear income tax, penalties and interest. He lodged an appeal with the Tax Court against the assessment but SARS insisted on immediate payment on the so-called “pay-now-argue-later” principle.