FITA, (Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association), strongly defended the Gold Leaf Tobacco Company a few weeks ago. It came after Tax Justice South Africa suggested they sold cigarettes online at ridiculously low prices. And so cheaply, that it seemed they couldn’t possibly also pay tax on them. Allegedly, a lot of it went down during the COVID-19 tobacco bans.
FITA boots Gold Leaf Tobacco Company
When the claims first arose, FITA vigorously defended their association member. Cape Talk noted that “Yusuf Abramjee, the founder of Tax Justice SA, says the organisation received a number of tip-offs about the illicit sale of GLTC brands online during the tobacco ban.” Later, they vowed that they intended on handing it over for investigation.
But, ENCA noted that “The association’s Sinenhlanhla Mnguni said it asked for proof” and told the outlet that “the corporation is being targeted.” The allegations included tax evasion via the sales of tobacco and some people thought it involves sales to underage kids without proof of age. Allegedly, it went down via online sales. In fact, FITA really slammed Tax Justice over the allegations. But now, they terminated Gold Leaf Tobacco Company’s membership with immediate effect.
Tobacco giant GLTC will deliver a single carton of cigarettes to your door anywhere in SA for R225. The taxes they should pay to @sarstax are R203.50.
IF they're paying their tax, we reckon they're losing R100 per carton! ⁰How is that possible @fita_sa @SinenMnguni? @the_dti pic.twitter.com/Q17DPnYlCd
— Tax Justice South Africa (@TaxJustice_SA) September 15, 2020
Termination of membership with immediate effect
On Tuesday, September 29th, FITA posted up on Twitter about the Gold Leaf Tobacco Company. Their Tweet said, “We have today resolved to terminate the membership of @fita_sa member Gold Leaf Tobacco Corporation with immediate effect.” Some people wondered why they terminated the company. But, so far no answer came.
Potentially, the reason might lie behind the claims made by Tax Justice. Some people wondered if it referred to tax evasion. And, others wondered about the ongoing court case that arose during the tobacco ban. But for now, it seemed the association remains tight-lipped.
We have today resolved to terminate the membership of @fita_sa member Gold Leaf Tobacco Corporation with immediate effect.
— FITA (@fita_sa) September 29, 2020
Hopefully, the association soon gives a full statement on the reasons for the termination of the Gold leaf Tobacco Company. Stay up to date with this developing story by subscribing at the bottom of this post or follow us on Facebook.