The Solidarity NetWork announced that it would kick-off a comprehensive and lawful tax protest campaign next week.
This South African tax protest includes at least six legal actions against state enterprises and tax plunderers.
The actions include, among others, an application for business rescue of SAA. According to Solidarity, the SAA case would be the most significant tax case South Africa has ever seen.
“It is time that taxpayers turn to active and lawful tax protest. South Africa must discover the power of tax activism,” said Solidarity COO Dirk Hermann.
“We’ve already had a taste of it with the E-toll protest. Tax protest does not have to include the withholding of tax.”
“Taxpayers can unite across traditional barriers, making use of legal instruments to call the state and tax plunderers to account,” he said.
Solidarity will this week serve urgent court papers on Denel to force it to pay the unemployment insurance and tax contributions it had deducted from employees to where it is due.
It also started a process to have mismanagement and corruption perpetrated by former Denel directors investigated with a view to their possible prosecution.
A similar process will be followed in collaboration with Sakeliga in respect of Eskom.
This may have major implications for former Eskom directors such as Brian Molefe. Similar applications against other directors at other state-owned enterprises may follow.
Solidarity will also request advocate Gerrie Nel of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit to institute a private prosecution process against Molefe.
The union obtained an order as to costs against Hlaudi Motsoeneng, former SABC COO, after a court ruling in favour of the SABC 8.
Application of business rescue against SAA
The biggest case will be an application of business rescue against SAA and the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan.
A year ago, Solidarity wanted to bring the same case against SAA, but SAA’s former CEO, Vuyani Jarana, made several promises to Solidarity.
“However, these promises have not been met and Jarana has left. We must protect sustainable work at SAA,” Solidarity said.
This will be the first time that a business rescue application is brought against a state enterprise.
“This is one of the most drastic actions taxpayers are taking to protect their tax money. Taxpayers’ money in SAA is too valuable to allow the airline to crash down,” said Hermann.
According to Hermann, taxpayers underestimate their power. “The state is not working with its own money, but with the money of taxpayers,” he said.