News24

Cele turns up to support Mpisane

2012-06-12 10:35

Durban - Suspended police commissioner Bheki Cele spent Monday morning in the Durban Regional Court supporting a local tender tycoon facing charges of VAT fraud.

Dapper in a navy suit and red tie, Cele stood out in the gallery of courtroom Z where close friend and social butterfly Mabongi Mpisane, who is accused of swindling the taxman of nearly R5m using cooked invoices, tax returns and financial statements, appeared.

Mpisane, who goes by the name of Shauwn, and her business, Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport CC, face 118 counts of fraud.

She also faces a charge of contravening the Close Corporations Act for operating a business with a previous fraud conviction. She has not yet pleaded.

Support

It was Cele’s turn to support Mpisane - the daughter of the late Florence Mkhize, a former eThekwini councillor - who is a family friend. Mpisane supported him on the first and last day of the Moloi board of inquiry into his fitness to hold office.

Cele’s spokesperson, Vuyo Mkhize, said the former police chief would not abandon a friend or distance himself because of concerns that his presence “might give rise to irrational howls of outrage”. As the Constitution made clear, a person was innocent until proven guilty and there was no reason why Cele should not attend Mpisane’s trial, he said.

The start of the trial, set down for this week, was delayed when Mpisane’s legal team applied for further particulars after the State filed a revised charge sheet on May 24.

Mpisane has hired two counsels to fight her matter - Durban advocate Jimmy Howse and renowned silk Wim Trengove, instructed by attorneys Garlicke & Bousfield.

It was Trengove who took up the first morning session, arguing before magistrate Blessing Msani for an order compelling the State to hand over further information and documents.

With each of the counts, barring the first, which deals with the legality of Mpisane’s right to be a director, Trengove said there was a lack of clarity and specifics regarding the alleged complicity of his client with respect to the charges.

The State claims Mpisane inflated cash purchases in her 2008 financial statements and ordered her accountant, Kishal Reddy, to forge invoices as supporting documents in order to reduce her profit and tax liability to the South African Revenue Service.

Reddy pleaded guilty last year to forgery and contravening the Value Added Tax Act, but said he did so on Mpisane’s instructions. Reddy paid a R30 000 fine and is expected to be the prosecution’s star witness.

Charge sheet

In the amended charge sheet, the State refers in various parts to dates, documents and alleged accomplices in its explanation of Mpisane’s alleged involvement in the fraud, references which Trengove argued were too vague to defend.

“It is important for the defence to know what the State alleges is the complicity of the accused,” said Trengove.

The prosecution alleges Mpisane’s actions cost the taxman R4.8m.

Mpisane was accompanied by an entourage of friends and family, who arrived in smart attire and left in a convoy of luxury vehicles.

Dressed in a black outfit embellished with red designer accessories, she was spirited from court away from waiting photographers.

She is no stranger to the inside of a courtroom, having been convicted of VAT fraud in 2005. For that she received a three-year sentence, suspended for five years, and her company was fined R15 000.

She is currently fighting the municipality for a R176m contract given to her in a secret deal last year, which was later reversed by housing officials.

Proceedings were adjourned at 14:00 on Tuesday, when prosecutor Meera Naidu will respond to the application.

Cele left the court at the lunch break, flanked by a group of men, and caught a flight to Johannesburg.

Comments
  • Jujupuke - 2012-06-12 10:42

    And What's the common thread? Tenders! They're all a bunch of Crooks. Makes me sick!

      goyougoodthing - 2012-06-12 12:01

      This is an ANC man defending someone who built what, 10 houses for 2 billion bucks, and yet they feel NO SHAME and NO GUILT.

      Raymond - 2012-06-12 12:45

      Birds of a feather......

      Voiceinthedesert.co.za - 2012-06-12 13:31

      birds of a feather flock together bloody criminals

  • nhlanhla.ndlovu.10 - 2012-06-12 11:07

    Birds of the same feathers flock together.

  • Loo - 2012-06-12 11:56

    Bwahahaha thats like shabir being a character witness .... I thought she could afford competent legal council ... Stuuupppeeeedddd .. :)

      Loo - 2012-06-12 11:58

      No Wait .. It makes sense . .Cele's own hearing was probably in the adjacent courtroom. Probably said " While Im here,, why not ,she has mooneeeey and I want THAT yes"

  • Phillip - 2012-06-12 12:56

    ?Love my tender, pay my due, and we'll never part. But if, my darling, you squeal on me, I'll stick a dagger, through your heart?

  • jamesi.kazonga - 2012-06-12 16:28

    be like boers who were looting SA without being caught.....!

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-06-12 20:23

      @ jamesi.k....it's not the boers who did the looting it was the British....they paid for thousands of British settlers to come to S.A...once they got here....THE BRITISH..allocated land to these folks...but they got nothing else from the Brit Gov...it took years for these families to build their farms from nothing....they had no money, but they fought through and became wonderful farmers.

      Graham - 2012-06-13 10:02

      Wipe your mouth and don't forget to flush the toilet when you dispose of the toilet paper ( and don't throw it on the floor!)

      Alex - 2012-06-13 14:55

      Oh wonderful, Sandra. Why blame the boers when we can blame the British ? But let's not forget, when searching round for who to blame, that it all the fault of Adam and Eve

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-06-13 16:23

      @ Alex...sorry to blame the Brits...I'm one of them...I just think that these black folk think all the blame falls on the Afrikaner (boer)...but the Brits did dish out land in the Adelaide District (E.C)..to act as a border and barrier to prevent the Xhosa from attacking Grahamstown.Suppose no one is to blame in the end...just put it down to events that happened in our history.The black folk think they had their land stolen from them by us..but the land that whites occupied then, no one lived on...they were to the North.

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-06-14 12:33

      Alex...It's a very sad state of affairs...nowhere else in the world, other than Africa, does the history of the original settlers to an area who really had extreme hardships back then, but made it in the end...get any appreciation for their contribution to the early growth of this nation. Instead we are hated and suffer the daily brutal attacks on our folks(hijack, robberies ect). They claim we made them slaves to work for us....truth is if they had been more self efficient they would have had no need to work for the white man...nobody forced them to..yet today they turn the whole story around to gain sympathy and as you say use this to think they are now entitled to grab back what the settlers worked hard to build up....FOR NOTHING....of coarse they have a different version...and there lies the real CRUX OF THIS WHOLE DEBATE...I so wish there could be a meeting and a middle ground found.I share this not with hate or an once of racism, but with the truth of written history....which in those days..because of more white folk being literate and maybe no black being able to WRITE their events that happened...I therefor would be more inclined to believe the white mans version of that area.

  • Graham - 2012-06-13 10:00

    Thieves and crooks will always stand together side by side!

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