PRETORIA – Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan has instructed investigation into offshore holdings following the Panama Papers.
“The Minister of Finance has noted reports on the clients of a Panamian legal firm and certain South Africans that may be linked to offshore bank accounts.
“The Ministry would like to point out the relevant agencies (eg SARS, FIC, SARB) always investigate such reports to ensure that those that have such links have complied with the law,” Gordhan’s office said in a statement.
Gordhan’s office said holding funds in an offshore bank is by itself not illegal, as long as the necessary approvals and disclosures have been made to the relevant authorities.
The nephew of President Jacob Zuma, Khulubuse was also linked to an investigation Panama Papers scandal.
“The Treasury welcomes the release of such information which, like the recent release of information related to the clients of HSBC, provides the basis for authorities to act against those who illegally move funds out of SA.
“The world is systemically narrowing the scope for those who want to hide their offshore assets and avoid paying their taxes due to the South African fiscus,” the ministry added.
Tax authorities are conducting the probe of clients of a Panama law firm, Mossack Fonseca, for possible tax evasion after 11,5 million documents were leaked.