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Mark Shuttleworth wins his appeal against the Reserve Bank… And gifts the R250 million award

by , 02 October 2014

In 2008, South African billionaire Mark Shuttleworth had to pay the South African Reserve Bank R250 million in line with exchange controls.

In August, Mr Shuttleworth took the case to the Supreme Court of Appeal in a bid to get the levy back.

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal ruled in his favour.

Let's take a closer look at what went on…

The Court of Appeal found the levy to amount to tax

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal awarded Mark Shuttleworth “R250 million with interest” after winning his appeal, reports Fin24. He had to pay the levy when he transferred R2.5 billion out of South Africa when he moved to the Isle of Man.

The court says the charge “amounted to a ‘tax’ and was not lawfully levied,” says MoneyWeb.

Mark Shuttleworth has created a trust with the money to help others fighting the State

And instead of accepting the award, Mr Shuttleworth has decided to put the money “into a trust for Africans wishing to take on the State in the Constitutional Court,” says IOL. The trust will help fund some “cases on behalf of those unable to do so themselves”.

Mr Shuttleworth says “it is expensive to litigate at the constitutional level,” reports iAfrica. The individual is fighting a tough battle against “the State [which] has the resources to make its argument”.

Mr Shuttleworth says the current exchange controls in South Africa have “created a ‘cartel of banks’ that acted as agents of the [Reserve] Bank,” notes BDLive. He believes the system doesn’t benefit the rand’s “stability or security”.

So Mark Shuttleworth will be pleased with the outcome. It will be interesting to see if other high net worth individuals follow a similar route to getting back levies they’ve paid to take money out of the country.

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Mark Shuttleworth wins his appeal against the Reserve Bank… And gifts the R250 million award
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