The Supreme Court of Appeal has ordered the Reserve Bank to repay R250 million to South African billionaire Mark Shuttleworth. He was forced to pay that in 2001 when he moved his money out of the country. Shuttleworth contested that the exchange regime was unconstitutional and yesterday the courts ruled in favour of his appeal, ordering the Reserve Bank to return the money and pay interest.
Shuttleworth is planning to spend the R250 million on booze and women. Ok not really, but that woulda been rad. He’s actually placing the money in a trust that will ‘selectively fund cases on behalf of those unable to do so themselves, where the counterparty is the state’.
Good guy he is.
” According to a judgment summary released by the supreme court, Shuttleworth sold the company for $575-million in 1999 and in 2001 emigrated to the Isle of Man, a British Crown dependency and a tax-efficient jurisdiction. On his emigration, South Africa’s Exchange Control Regulations (promulgated in terms of the Currency and Exchanges Act 9 of 1933) had the effect of blocking the expatriation of his assets from South Africa. The value of the blocked loan accounts was R4.2-billion. To move his money, Shuttleworth was forced to pay more than R250-million in levies. He did so under protest to release the blocked assets, but contended that many facets of the current exchange regime were unconstitutional. Shuttleworth subsequently launched an application in the Pretoria high court seeking repayment of that sum as well as “fairly wide-ranging orders” to the effect that various provisions of South Africa’s exchange control regime were unconstitutional and invalid”
“Following a judgement handed down by the Pretoria high court, which refused to order the Reserve Bank to repay Shuttleworth, he took the case to the Supreme Court of Appeal. This court on Wednesday upheld his appeal and set aside the order of the high court, and ordered the Reserve Bank to pay the damages with interest.” [M&G]
Now you know.