Sars takes aim at Christo Wiese - reports

Billionaire businessman Christo Wiese has been caught up in a case in which Sars claims that a law firm at which he was an executive, ENS, helped multinational oil company Tullow shift about R3,9 billion in assets out of the country

Billionaire businessman Christo Wiese has been caught up in a case in which Sars claims that a law firm at which he was an executive, ENS, helped multinational oil company Tullow shift about R3,9 billion in assets out of the country to dodge taxes.

 

A report by investigative journalist unit amaBhungane on Thursday said papers filed in the Western Cape High Court show that Sars is pursuing Wiese and two other people personally for R217 million as part of a R3,7 billion tax claim based on Tullow’s “restructuring ”.

 

The investigative unit alleges that papers filed in the Western Cape High Court show that Sars wants Wiese and two individuals to be held accountable for R217 million. That R217 million is a part of the R3,7 billion tax claim based on multinational oil and gas exploration company Tullow Oil’s “restructuring”, amaBhungane reported.

 

In an interview with Jeremy Maggs on eNCA on Thursday, Wiese refuted the “unfounded” allegations.

“The allegations are completely unfounded and unrepresented, and the tragedy is that most of these commentators have difficulty reading English,” Wiese said.

 

This is the latest in a series of setbacks for the beleaguered Upington-born billionaire, who, with a net worth of some $6.8 billion, is one of South Africa's richest men. He has made most of his money through his controlling stake in Pepkor Limited, which owns, among others, South Africa’s most successful retailer, Shoprite Checkers.

 

In April, Wiese lodged a R59 billion claim against Steinhoff over cash investments made by his Titan group of companies in Steinhoff in 2015 and 2016, after he lost billions of rand when the retailer's share price crashed last year after revelations of accounting irregularities.

 

No stranger to controversy, Wiese once had a briefcase containing £700 000 confiscated at Heathrow Airport. The case is due to be heard in court next month.