Security boss in court for fraud

2013-07-26 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG security boss Mahomed Yacoob appeared briefly in chambers at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday charged with VAT fraud amounting to over R12 million.

Yacoob is managing director of the Khuselani Group, also known as KSA Security, which has branches all over KZN and a branch in Johannesburg.

He has held lucrative security tenders in both the Msunduzi and eThekwini municipalities, both of which have had their share of controversy.

The charges relate to the period between September 2006 and February 2010. It is alleged Yacoob ran two companies with closely related names — Khuselani Security and Risk Management SA (Pty) Ltd and Khulesani Security and Risk (where the SA was left out). It is alleged that the names of the two companies appeared to be used interchangeably as a means of evading the payment of tax or allegedly making false statements on VAT return forms.

According to the charge sheet, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) suffered a loss of over R12 589 154,46 as a result.

Yacoob’s case was set down for court seven in the regional court. However, he did not appear in court and it later turned out his matter was heard in a magistrate’s office.

The Witness asked the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), why this was done. NPA spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson said there was no special treatment. She said the court seven magistrate was away, and as the matter was just set down for an adjournment, another magistrate was found to assist. As court seven was busy by that time, the magistrate offered the use of his office. The case was adjourned to August 20.

For years Yacoob was one of the holders of the Msunduzi security contract and each time it was awarded to his company allegations were made that he got it because he was politically well connected. There was also an investigation into whether the company was overcharging the municipality, when it went under administration.

Yacoob’s company also had a multi­million rand contract with eThekwini over a number of years. This contract should have been terminated in January 2010 when Khuselani was placed under voluntary liquidation, however, it continued until the end of the contract period.

The company has had several prestigious security contracts in KwaZulu-Natal, including the Hilton hotel, Durban’s International Convention Centre, the Golden Horse Casino, and the two municipalities.

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