Zuma can’t help ‘overtaxed’ izinduna

By Celani Sikhakhane

Former president Jacob Zuma told traditional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal that because he is no longer in power he is unable to help them in their bitter fight with the provincial government. At the centre of the dispute is the amount of tax that was deducted from their R600-million back pay.

The leaders visited Zuma at his Nkandla homestead this week to vent their anger at the KZN government and to ask for his help.

They claim that the tax deducted from their back pay – owing to them since 2013 – meant they ended up getting amounts ranging from R50,000 to R150,000, instead of the R400,000 they expected. 

Induna Sizakele Nhlebela told Scrolla.Africa that they went to Zuma to get clarity because he signed the order for their back pay of R2.5-billion.

The amount was later reduced to R600-million by the KZN government. 

“We were supposed to get around R400,000 each including interest but when the provincial government finally paid us, our money was not what we expected,” said Induna Nhlebela.  

“Now they claim that it is Sars who took our money.  But we don’t believe this because we suspect that they robbed us since they believe that we are not educated … “

Nhlebela said the traditional leaders are giving the government an ultimatum that if the provincial authorities fail to pay back their money, they will boycott the general elections on 29 May. 

Induna Percy Nkosi from the Amajuba district said the traditional leaders’ problem is that the government doesn’t take them seriously.

KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Siboniso Mngadi said: “MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi had to embark on the series of engagements with izinduna in all 11 districts where Sars officials were present to explain how their monies would be taxed. 

“We embarked on this to explain how the tax would be calculated on the lump sum. Unfortunately, some of the izinduna believe that their monies were docked by the department.”

Mngadi said the department has so far distributed more than 90% of the back pay to the traditional leaders. 

Pictured above: Izinduna had a meeting with former president Jacob Zuma over the back pay he authorised in 2013 as head of state.

Image source: Supplied 


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