Shuttleworth in court over unconstitutionalO exchange controls
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- Shuttleworth in court over unconstitutionalO exchange controls
South African entrepreneur and multibillionaire Mark Shuttleworth. BILLIONAIRE entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth has taken the South African government to court to have the country’s exchange control system declared unconstitutional. Mr Shuttleworth also wants the North Gauteng High Court to set aside a levy of more than R250m he had to pay to get some of his assets out of the country in 2009, and order the Reserve Bank to return the money.
“One of the founding principles of a parliamentary democracy is that there should be no taxation without representation and that the executive branch of government should not itself be entitled to raise revenue for its operation, but should rather be dependent on the taxing power of Parliament, which is democratically accountable to the tax-paying public,”
He further seeks an order declaring the Bank’s so-called "closed door policy", of insisting that the public communicate with it through the intermediation of authorised banks, unconstitutional and invalid. Mr Shuttleworth blames the existing system of exchange control in South Africa for forcing him to emigrate from South Africa in 2001.
“(The Bank) claims because the levy is only imposed on a small part of the population it does not qualify as tax,”
He said in court papers the system made it impossible to conduct his entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures. He had assets worth more than R4.27bn in South Africa when he emigrated, but transferred the assets out of the country in 2008 and 2009, each time paying a 10% levy.
“(The regulations) set up a system of exchange control in which the crucial rules are made not by publicly accessible promulgated laws, but rather by an inaccessible system of ”
Mr Shuttleworth lives on the Isle of Man and holds dual South African and UK citizenship. His advocate, Gilbert Marcus SC, on Monday argued that the system of exchange control in South Africa was governed not by laws, but by the dictates of an organ of state, which were not accessible to the public.
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