State accused of suppressing information

By Drum Digital
07 May 2013

Lawyers representing Durban businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane accused the prosecution on Tuesday of suppressing evidence which would be favourable to her case.

Rafik Bhana SC, and her attorney Jimmy Howse complained to the court that the state had deliberately failed to provide them with reports on Mpisane's tax affairs by three SA Revenue Service (Sars) employees.

While cross-examining Sars tax auditor Waheeda Osman earlier, Bhana said he would argue "there is suppression of evidence".

Prosecutor Meera Naidu said she would try to obtain the reports, and denied refusing to provide the defence with the reports by Sumantha Ramharak, Riette Herbst, and Pemola Govender.

Mpisane is accused of inflating invoices by more than R5 million in an attempt 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.

Osman testified that she was instructed to reduce Mpisane's tax bill following an audit by Ramharak. This reduction was then reversed following further investigation by Sars.

The case continues.

-Sapa

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