The Western Cape High Court has ended a five-year cat-and-mouse chase between Cape Town businessman Mark Lifman and the taxman over more than R352m.

A TimesLIVE report notes SARS has been trying to recover the money from Lifman and his 35 companies and trusts since 2014.

But it has been hamstrung by a series of lawsuits.

Yesterday, the court dismissed the businessman’s application to stop the sale of his properties. Judge Elizabeth Baartman said: ‘There is no indication that an injustice will result from a failure to suspend the execution. On the contrary, this application appears to be an abuse of the process. It follows that there are no exceptional circumstances justifying a stay of the execution proceedings.’

Noting Lifman’s history of trying to use the courts to escape SARS clutches, the judge said he ‘alleged that he had on more than one occasion complained that SARS officials are acting in an untoward and subjective manner’.

But Baartman said Lifman could not ‘elevate a complaint about 'treatment received' to a ground of review’.

After the 2015/2016 tax assessment, SARS found that Lifman's entities owed more than R350m.

(Lifman and his companies) did not lodge any objection…,’ said Baartman.

Instead, it seems that the initial dissatisfaction was about treatment received which (the companies) have belatedly and opportunistically sought to raise to an objection against the assessments. That is not permissible; it follows that on this ground, the application must also fail. The assessment are undisputed, final, due and payable.

Full TimesLIVE report