Couple busted in massive Bloemfontein VAT scam

Bloemfontein - A couple and their son from the upmarket Woodland Hills estate in Bloemfontein, have appeared in court on 135 charges of VAT fraud involving R59m.

It is the largest amount in a single probe by the criminal investigation unit of the SA Revenue Service in the Free State and the Northern Cape, Netwerk24 reported.

Norman Delport, 65, his 58-year-old wife Johanna and their son, Marius, 36, were granted bail of R50 000 each when they appeared in the Bloemfontein Regional Court.

A company, Two Ships Trading 373, with Norman Delport as sole director, was also charged.

An alternative charge is that of statutory contravention of the VAT law.

Marius Delport said in his bail application that he is a chartered accountant who now farms with chickens.

Trusts

READ: Sars cracks R266m VAT swindle

He supplies Spar, Shoprite Checkers and Woolworths with about 80 000 slaughtered chickens a month.

He is responsible for the business’s finances and his parents have nothing to do with the filing of returns to Sars.

His father, in his application, said he was an ex-policeman who started farming near Bloemfontein in 2010. His wife is a home maker.

According to the indictment, the couple are both trustees of the Delport Family Trust and the Eden Rock Trust. Both trusts are registered for VAT for farming purposes.

The Delport Family Trust allegedly padded VAT claims by R15m between 2011 and 2014. The amount for the Eden Rock Trust from 2011 to 2015 is said to total R21m and VAT claimed unlawfully by Two Ships Trading from 2008 to 2012 involved R23.5m, according to the indictment.

Johnny Higgs, a specialist Sars investigator in Kimberley who is in charge of the probe, said the Delport businesses would have had to have shown a loss of about R485m between 2008 and 2012 to claim R59m in VAT from Sars.

Higgs testified that it appeared that R45m were transferred to a company MN Chemicals, in which Norman Delport is involved.

The case has been referred to the High Court.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Matric results are out! Are you happy with your child's result?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No, the pandemic really messed up their ability to focus
33% - 581 votes
Yes, they did well given the circumstances
67% - 1175 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.24
+0.1%
Rand - Pound
20.58
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.22
+0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.91
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.1%
Gold
1,848.85
+0.3%
Silver
23.83
-0.7%
Palladium
2,205.16
+2.7%
Platinum
1,031.69
-0.2%
Brent Crude
86.27
-1.9%
Top 40
65,870
+0.3%
All Share
72,315
+0.2%
Resource 10
72,883
+1.9%
Industrial 25
89,867
-1.2%
Financial 15
14,799
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE