FOR SOURED RELATIONSHIP
Court papers cite reputational damage following R212m ‘donation’ that led to a dispute with Sars
Lingerie model Candice van der Merwe plans to sue Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni for a staggering R1 billion over alleged violations of her rights and damage to her reputation. The 26-year-old model says she has been harassed for years over a $15.3 million (R212 million) donation she received from a “companion”.
In the latest set of draft court papers, which have been sent to the finance minister along with a letter of demand, the companion is identified as Saad Hariri, the spectacularly wealthy prime minister of Lebanon.
Van der Merwe’s attorney, Tim Dunn, would neither confirm nor deny that Hariri was the man in question.
In earlier court papers, Van der Merwe said she could only think that it was her “engaging personality, healthy lifestyle and sober habits” that made her so popular at The Plantation resort in the Seychelles, a secretive luxury playground for the super-rich.
According to Van der Merwe, her agency, Ice Models, regularly sent models to this island, where the richest of the rich can relax in absolute privacy.
The models’ passports are taken away when they arrive and they are not allowed to take any photos or tell stories of what happens there, said Van der Merwe.
The first two times she went, she flew economy class, but thereafter flew business or first class.
All the travel arrangements were made by Ice Models, and she sometimes had to be available at just a few hours’ notice.
She met Hariri at The Plantation.
Along with the multimillion-dollar donation, Van der Merwe was given an Audi R8 and a Range Rover Evoque – together, worth R2.7 million – as presents, she claims. This after she let slip on the island that these were her favourite cars.
In correspondence between the SA Reserve Bank and Standard Bank, the relationship between the donor and Van der Merwe is described as a “boyfriend/girlfriend situation”.
Since 2013, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) has suspected that the gift was money belonging to her father, businessman Gary van der Merwe, and subjected the two to a tax investigation.
But documents in possession of City Press’ sister newspaper, Rapport, show that Sars and Van der Merwe have buried the hatchet, after she paid
R44 million in income tax in 2016.
Although donations by foreigners are not taxable, the settlement that Van der Merwe reached with Sars has now seen the money being classified as “other income”.
In Van der Merwe’s claim against the minister, she alleges that Sars knew all along that the money was actually a donation, but failed to disclose this fact in litigation related to this matter.
This omission by Sars has caused her immeasurable damage, she claims.
Candice van der Merwe wants her ‘donation’ plus some extra SHE IS LEGEND
Yvonne Chaka Chaka was honoured with an African Music Legend Award at the All African Music Awards