Friday, July 10, 2020

BURS CHARGES AGAINST ME POLITICALLY MOTIVATED- KGOSI

Former Director of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DISS) Isaac Kgosi has said the recent decision by the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) to slap him with a P9 million tax-evasion bill is politically motivated.

In his court papers seeking relief from having his property attached by the taxman Kgosi blamed the BURS actions on the position he held as former intelligence boss.

He said the fact that BURS had not seen it fit nor had the courtesy to question him regarding his earnings to ascertain the nature of the earnings, but instead resorted to what he calls ‘draconian measure’ of raiding his home, added credence to his suspicion that the actions of BURS have less to do with the alleged tax evasion but more to do with political motives.

“In this regard the above Honourable Court should, with respect, note that I am the former head of the Department of Intelligence and Security Services,” Kgosi said, adding “The political situation, I submit, has coloured the events that are now unfolding against me. In short, it is highly improbable that I would receive fair treatment from the Respondent (BURS).”

He called the BURS a powerful state organ which has demonstrated its willingness to use the same powers against him at will.

“The protection of the Honourable Court is urgently required as I am a single person, with limited resources and the Respondents have great resources and are willing and able to use same to my harm…I have given my entire adult life to the service of the Government of the Republic of Botswana.”

Kgosi said the fact that he has held sensitive information as the head of DIS should be taken note of by the Court.  He said his previous position with DIS should assist the Court in coming to his assistance as it is clear that he and his family are currently vulnerable. The Court, Kgosi said, should be mindful of the various stories that have been written about him in the newspapers.

The former spy boss also made reference to the various raids by state organs at his homes and his heavily publicised arrest at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport. 

“My home has been searched on more than four occasions by agents of the Government of Botswana, including the Respondent. Also, I was arrested at SSK International Airport in January this year by Government Agencies…I was arrested on suspicion of tax evasion or non-payment of taxes, although no criminal prosecution was sustained about me on that score date.”

The Court granted Kgosi temporary relief in relation to the P9 million BURS bill. Kgosi, through his lawyers Thabiso Tafila Attorneys, filed an urgent application to stop the BURS from seizing his property following assessment of his income tax.

The Court ordered that the BURS furnish Kgosi with reasons and basis for the notice of assessment for income tax dated July 5, 2019 relating to the tax years 2008 to 2019 on or before August 27, 2019.  “The Respondent (BURS) shall furnish the Applicant (Kgosi) with such income tax returns relating to the Applicant and relating to the tax years 2008 to 2019, inclusive, on or before August 27 2019.”

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Sunday Standard July 5 – 11

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of July 5 - 11, 2020.