Capricorn Foundation brings about positive change in educationSARS takes legal action against Sasfin Bank

WINDHOEK: The Capricorn Foundation has dedicated almost N.dollars 1.8 million in the last three months to various education and training initiatives, addressing infrastructure, providing study materials, personnel training and addressing rural-urban education gaps in Namibia.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, Marlize Horn, Executive Officer of the Capricorn Foundation stated that as a ‘Connector of Positive Change’, the foundation is proud of its track record since it was launched in 2020 to bring about positive change through a portfolio of more than 40 projects and programmes across Namibia.

One of these, the Amos Meerkat Syllabus, enhances existing non-governmental preschools in Namibian farms and rural and informal communities without proper curricula. Aligned with Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture standards, AMS provides an updated Christian curriculum, preparing learners for Grade 1.

‘The programme empowers teachers to build their self-esteem, values and character. This initiative uplifts
and empowers women, helping them discover their worth and realise their role in communities, providing an income opportunity. AMS reaches over 4 000 children nationwide, with the Capricorn Foundation committing N.dollars 420 000 to support the initiative,’ Horn said.

EduVision Online Learning addresses rural-urban education gaps, enhancing mathematics, physics, chemistry, economics and biology education for remote marginalised schools through e-learning and modern technology. For 2024, Capricorn Foundation committed to adopting two schools, Pioneer Secondary School in Schlip and C ||Oaseb Senior Secondary School in Gibeon, with a total contribution of N.dollars 670 000 (N.dollars 335 000 per school) to improve online learning access.

Horn stated that DRC Women’s Community Trust ECD was founded in October 2018 as a non-profit initiative empowering unemployed Namibian women through arts and crafts. Fifteen to 20 women create and sell items using beads and recycled materials, providing income and cultural expr
ession. The foundation also committed N.dollars 75 000 for food support and stationery.

She added that Promiseland Trust drives positive community change, specifically for vulnerable children, addressing academic, social, economic and environmental challenges through education and feeding initiatives. The foundation, she said has allocated N.dollars 200 000 to support the Walvis Bay-based trust’s feeding programme, covering increased running costs for 2024.

Meanwhile, Karstveld Academy was established in Grootfontein in January 2021 and is committed to elevating Namibia’s educational standards through academic and cultural excellence. Capricorn Foundation committed N.dollars 409 200 to Karstveld Academy towards bursaries for six Grade 10 learners covering school and hostel fees, Horn noted.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

The Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Edward Kieswetter, has confirmed that the revenue service has instituted legal proceedings against Sasfin Bank.

SARS has conducted a thorough investigation into various South African taxpayers who had not made true and accurate tax disclosures to it.

‘The investigation revealed that the taxpayers had colluded to expatriate funds offshore in a manner that obscured tracing the expatriated payments and jeopardises the recovery of tax in South Africa.

‘The Commissioner’s position is that it is inappropriate to comment on the question of liability and compensation for the fiscus’ loss, as these are legal issues that are now before the South African judicial system. Given this development, SARS will not be making any further comment,’ SARS said on Tuesday.

The Commissioner affirmed his commitment to pursue the enforcement and recovery of taxes without fear, favour or prejudice in the interest of upholding the fiscal integrity of the South African ta
x system.

Meanwhile in an announcement on Tuesday, shareholders of Sasfin Holdings Limited were advised that Sasfin Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sasfin Holdings, was served a civil summons for a total amount of R4,872,327,649.27 plus interest and costs in the form of a damages claim, instituted by SARS.

‘This summons, which was received on 9 January 2024, arises from SARS’ purported inability to collect income tax, value added tax and penalties allegedly owed by former foreign exchange clients of the bank.

‘Former foreign exchange clients of the Bank operated as a syndicate that ran an unlawful scheme to facilitate the expatriation of money out of South Africa and colluded with former employees of the bank who operated outside the scope of their employment.’

Sasfin Holdings Limited also added that the bank took decisive action when it became aware of this unlawful scheme, including instituting an expanded investigation led by an independent forensic consultancy.

This resulted in the termination of
relationships with the implicated clients and employees and the opening of criminal cases against them.

‘Subsequent to receiving the summons, Sasfin Bank engaged transparently with the relevant regulators on the matter and obtained a legal opinion from ENS, authored by Professor Dale Hutchinson, Professor Michael Katz and Aslam Moosajee and endorsed by Adv. Wim Trengove S.C.’

‘The legal opinion is unequivocal that the claim falls outside of the recognised parameters of applicable law and has a very remote likelihood of success. On the basis of this legal opinion, Sasfin Holdings concluded that the claim will not result in the recognition of any liability.’

In the SENS announcement, the board of directors of Sasfin Holdings ‘remains of the view that SARS’ claim has no merit and has little chance of success.’

‘The Bank will therefore defend the claim, and given that this involves a defended trial action, the matter is only likely to come to trial in several years’ time,’ said Sasfin Holdings.

Source: Sout
h African Government News Agency