Mpisane trial date to be set

By Drum Digital
13 February 2013

The Durban Regional Court will set a date on Wednesday for Shauwn Mpisane's trial for alleged tax evasion. Mpisane is accused of inflating invoices by more than R5 million 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.

Last year, the court held 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 an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process. The court made a ruling on two issues relating to documents submitted during the ADR and during a voluntary disclosure process (VDP). Both processes allow for a taxpayer to submit documents to the South African Revenue Service (Sars) 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. Magistrate Blessing Msani said the question 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," he said.

-Sapa

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