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The dreams of Mzwakhe Mbuli, “the peo­ple’s poet”, of get­ting re­lief fund­ing from govern­ment dur­ing the na­tional lock­down turned into a night­mare when he re­ceived a fi­nal let­ter of de­mand for R354 487.59 from the SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars).

Mbuli, in turn, is try­ing to squeeze the ANC for more than R700 000, which he claims the or­gan­i­sa­tion has owed him since 2010.

The Re­sis­tance is De­fence hit­maker says he is flab­ber­gasted by the let­ter of de­mand – which City Press has seen – that states that he has failed to pay his tax debt “for one or more tax year(s) and/or tax pe­riod(s)”.

He in­sists that it is not his fault that he owes Sars so much money, as he has not earned an in­come for a very long time. He says that he wrote Sars an af­fi­davit to this ef­fect and also sub­mit­ted his bank state­ments to show that he had re­ceived no in­come.

Mbuli adds that Univer­sal Mu­sic also sent an of­fi­cial state­ment to the rev­enue of­fice, con­firm­ing that he had not earned roy­al­ties since 2008 be­cause he was still re­pay­ing a loan the record com­pany granted him to pay another Sars debt of R1.2 mil­lion back then.

The let­ter from Sars reads in part: “You are re­quested to make full pay­ment within 10 busi­ness days from the date of this let­ter of de­mand. You may [also] within 10 busi­ness days from the date of this let­ter of de­mand ap­ply for the fol­low­ing rem­edy: pay­ment in in­stal­ments if you are un­able to pay the full amount.”

Sars also threat­ened that fail­ure to make full pay­ment or ar­rang­ing to pay in in­stal­ments could re­sult in “a civil judg­ment be­ing en­tered against you, in which case a war­rant of ex­e­cu­tion may be is­sued for the Sher­iff of the Court to at­tach and sell your as­sets”. But Mbuli says he will set­tle the amount ow­ing to Sars as soon as the ANC pays him.

“I can pay in full and still have a bit left over to sur­vive out of the R700 000 they owe me,” he said.

He says that, for the past 10 years, sev­eral ANC lead­ers have made empty prom­ises to him to have his money paid by the party. These lead­ers have in­cluded the late Ig­natius Ja­cobs and Trans­port Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula.

He has con­tin­u­ally com­mu­ni­cated with the or­gan­i­sa­tion, but noth­ing has come of his re­quests. He says he is plan­ning to go to Luthuli House to­mor­row to take up the is­sue with the ANC’s top six mem­bers.

It was re­ported two years ago that Mbuli had been com­mis­sioned to do sev­eral projects, in­clud­ing the party’s elec­tion cam­paigns, and to mo­bilise artists to re­lease a CD in sup­port of star ath­lete Caster Se­menya in 2010. Se­menya, who has hy­per­an­dro­genism (a ge­netic con­di­tion that el­e­vates lev­els of testos­terone in the body), has faced on­go­ing con­tro­versy over her eli­gi­bil­ity to com­pete in global events.

The ANC and Sars had not re­sponded to re­quests for com­ment by the time of go­ing to press.

Mzwakhe Mbuli

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