Buyanga sues Sars over R600m gold coins

Buyanga sues Sars over R600m gold coins

Zimbabwean businessman Frank Sadiqi Buyanga is taking the South African Revenue Service (Sars) to court, claiming that it recently confiscated his Kruger gold coins worth an estimated R600m, personal jewellery, watches and cellphones.

The goods were attached during an October raid on the house of Sadiqi’s girlfriend, Melinda Dube, in Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

This was revealed in papers filed at the Pretoria High Court last week by Sadiqi who lives in Sandton in Johannesburg.

“Sars unlawfully, without justification and without my permission and against my protests, seized from me and dispossessed me of gold (Kruger) coins that I had with me at the time. Conservatively estimated, the gold coins that were stolen from my possession are valued at over R600m,” he said.

According to court papers, the Sars forfeiture unit raided Dube’s house on October 26. Dube filed a police report against Sars and later took the revenue service to court.

Now Buyanga has approached the high court to be included in Dube’s case because he claims the forfeited gold belongs to him.

“My involvement in the events of the day on which the illegal Sars raid took place, and the fact that the raid was illegally perpetrated on me and the companies with which I am associated with, render it essential that I be allowed to make common cause with her application,” he said in court papers.

Sadiqi said the gold coins are part of trading stock for one of his companies, AMG, founded in 2017. In its profile, the company claims it is “one of the most successful and trusted gold companies in the world”.

“The gold coins that were stolen from my possession are valued at over R600m.”

Sadiqi is no stranger to Sars. In 2010, the tax collection agency impounded his then new Rolls-Royce Ghost imported from the United Kingdom.

Sars said he failed to provide proof that the car was not stolen. He bought the vehicle back at an auction in 2018.

Because of his past run-in with Sars, he appealed to the court to mediate in the broken-down relationship.

He further claimed that when Sars officials raided his girlfriend’s house, they acted in an unprofessional manner. They asked about his choice of cars namely a Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bugatti after they saw the car keys.

“During the illegal raid, Sars repeatedly questioned my decision to drive my BMW motor vehicle (which I generally drive every day) and expressed severe disappointment at the fact that I was not using one of my luxury motor vehicles,” he said.

Through his lawyers, William Wilcock Inc., Sadiqi claimed he tried in vain to arrange a meeting with Sars and be given details as to what the revenue collector needed to clear up the matter.

Sars is yet to respond in court.