Court pa­pers cite rep­u­ta­tional dam­age fol­low­ing R212m ‘do­na­tion’ that led to a dis­pute with Sars

CityPress - - News - HEN­DRICK HANCKE [email protected]­

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


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