Sars set to seize Mpisane properties

Durban - The SA Revenue Service (Sars) has been granted permission to seize five properties belonging to Shauwn Mpisane and Sbu Mpisane, it was reported on Tuesday.

The five properties were in a trust which would be held by Sars pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation into the couple's business and personal financial affairs, The Mercury reported.

According to the newspaper, the properties in the Mkhimpi Family Trust were worth about R13.9m.

Sars would "preserve" the couple's property for 90 days while it finished auditing them, the trust and their three close corporations: Zikhulise Cleaning Maintenance and Transport, Ukhozi Civil (in provisional liquidation), and Zikhulise Auto Restorers.

The Mercury reported that couple had until the end of the month to oppose the order, which was granted by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in chambers last week.

Tax debt

Sars high court litigation unit specialist Helen Templeton reportedly said in an affidavit before court that Sars wanted surety for a R17.7m tax debt.

The money had been paid, but because of the couple's history of "non-compliance and lack of co-operation", Sars wanted to retain control over the properties.

Shauwn Mpisane will appear again next week in the Durban Regional Court, where she is being tried on tax fraud charges.

She is accused of inflating invoices by more than R5m to cut her tax bill.

In a separate matter, she is accused of submitting false documents to obtain construction industry development board gradings, which were then used to obtain public works department tenders worth R140m.

She is also charged with corruption for allegedly trying to persuade a state witness in one of her tax fraud cases to tamper with evidence.

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