South Africa's Malema owes tax authorities $2 million

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 23, 2012 8:13 AM
South Africa's Malema owes tax authorities $2 million

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - ANC renegade Julius Malema, President Jacob Zuma's most vocal critic, has been given a $2 million tax bill, authorities said on Sunday, days after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Malema, expelled from the ruling African National Congress in April for indiscipline, has come under pressure since supporting wildcat strikes sweeping the economically vital mining industry.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) won judgment last week to deliver the populist politician with a hefty tax bill, SARS spokeswoman Marika Muller said.

"I can confirm that there was a judgment of 16 million rand ($1.94 million) against Julius Malema," Muller said, confirming reports in South African newspapers.

The former ANC Youth League leader is expected to appear in court on Wednesday to face corruption charges related to the award of government tenders in the 31-year-old's native Limpopo province.

Malema has unnerved investors by calling for the nationalization of mines in the world's top platinum producer.

The wave of wildcat strikes started with a mass walkout at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine in early August, and culminated a week later when police killed 34 striking miners, the deadliest security incident since the 1994 end of apartheid.

The industrial relations crisis spread to AngloGold Ashanti on Friday when workers downed tools at its Kopanang mine in Free State province.

The mine has 5,000 workers and the strikers had not yet communicated their demands, company spokesman Alan Fine said. It accounts for about 4 percent of the group's global output.

(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)