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Break in Mpisane tax case

Dec 03 2012 16:02 Sapa
Shauwn and S'bu Mpisane

Shauwn and S'bu Mpisane (City Press)

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Durban - The trial of businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane will proceed next year in the Durban Regional Court.

"I find it only fair and just that the state be allowed to lead evidence objected to in a trial," Magistrate Blessing Msani said on Monday.

Mabongi Flora-Junior "Shauwn" Mpisane is accused of inflating invoices by more than R5m to cut her tax bill.

She is also accused of violating the Close Corporations Act by remaining the sole member of Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport CC when she had a previous fraud conviction. She has pleaded not guilty.

The court was holding a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of evidence submitted by the state.

The state has submitted 148 invoices it obtained from Mpisane during the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process.

The court made a ruling on two issues relating to documents submitted during the ADR and Voluntary Disclosure Process (VDP).

Both processes allow for a tax payer to submit documents to the South African Revenue Services without prejudice.

Mpisane is accused of submitting revised 2008 financial statements when she applied for ADR in 2010.
Other charges she faces relate to the contravention of the Vat Act.

She submitted her 2009 and 2010 tax documents during the VDP process.

According to Sars legislation, information obtained during this process cannot be used in subsequent proceedings.

Msani said the question which was raised in the trial-within-the-trial was whether the confidentiality and without prejudice provision would extend to a situation where fraud was the basis of the matter.

"The challenge raised does not succeed," Msani said.

The matter was adjourned for a pre-trial on February 13.


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