Business man Mark Shuttleworth says he will use his 250 plus interest obtained from South African Reserve Bank through Supreme Court of Appeals ruling to help others who find themselves in the same predicament he was in for the past 7 years.
The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Wednesday ordered the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) to repay entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth R250 million plus interest in a case about exchange controls.
“I will commit the funds returned to me to today by the SCA to a trust run by veteran and retired constitutional scholars, judges and lawyers, that will selectively fund cases on behalf of those unable to do so themselves, where the counterparty is the state. The mandate of this trust will extend beyond South African borders, to address constitutional rights for African citizens at large, on the grounds that our future in South Africa is in every way part of that great continent.” He said on a statement in his website.
The battle between Shuttleworth and the states dates back to March 2008 where the South African Reserve Bank charged him millions to move his estimated 1.5 billion worth from South Africa through an independent bank.
A calculating error in working out the 10 percent levy led to Shuttleworth being told later that the amount that could be transferred out of the country was R1.485 billion to bring the exit payment to 10 percent of the total amount.
In 2009 when he decided to remove all his remaining assets from South Africa Shuttleworth was advised by his lawyers that the 10% levy was unfair and he went to court to challenge it.
He approached the High Court in Pretoria, which did not order that he be repaid but did strike down certain provisions of the Currency and Exchanges Act and the Exchange Control Regulations.
Shuttleworth approached the SCA to appeal against the High Court’s refusal to order repayment, while the SARB, the minister of finance and the president cross-appealed against the orders of invalidity.
The SCA found that Shuttleworth’s payment under protest indicated that the payment was not a voluntary one and that he reserved the right to seek its reversal.
The SARB’s imposition of the 10 percent exit levy was set aside, and so too were the High Court’s declarations of invalidity of the exchange legislation and regulations.
Additional reporting: SAPA