- Dr Nisar Ahmed Moosa, 71, and his company RMC Pharmacy were charged with eight counts of failure to submit Company Income Tax Returns from 2009 and 2017.
- As part of the diversion programme, Moosa performed operations on 12 patients at the Rondebosch Medical Centre Private Hospital for free.
- The patients were selected from a waiting list of patients at Groote Schuur Hospital for hand-related conditions.
A Cape Town surgeon who for nine years failed to submit his company income tax returns became the saving grace for 12 patients on a waiting list for surgery.
Dr Nisar Ahmed Moosa, 71, and his company RMC Pharmacy were charged with eight counts of failure to submit company income tax returns from 2009 and 2017.
The company was fined R15 000, suspended for five years.
Charges against Moosa, who is the director of the pharmacy company, were withdrawn in the Western Cape High Court after he completed a diversion programme.
As part of the diversion programme, Moosa performed operations on 12 patients at the Rondebosch Medical Centre Private Hospital for free. The patients were selected from a waiting list of patients at Groote Schuur Hospital for hand-related conditions like carpal tunnel, ganglions, and De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, National Prosecuting Authority Western Cape spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said in a statement.
The estimated cost of the operations is R300 780, which included the costs for the theatre, hospital stay, medication, surgeon, and anaesthetist. RMC Pharmacy paid those costs.
The prosecutor, Advocate Monwabisi Mabiya, said RMC Pharmacy and Moosa employed accountants who were tasked with submitting tax returns on their behalf. Moosa later employed external auditors and appointed a new accountant, according to representations he gave the taxman.
"There was then confusion among them as to who was responsible to submit the returns. Because of the accused's own dereliction, he never followed up with the accountant to confirm the returns were submitted and even when contacted by the South African Revenue Services (SARS), it was dealt with as a trifling matter and as a result, the returns were never submitted despite the engagement by SARS with the taxpayer," Mabiya said.
Moosa's legal team made representations to the Specialised Tax Unit and Advocate Kevin Rossouw, the head of the Western Cape specialist tax unit, that he be sent for diversion instead of criminal prosecution.
The SARS team agreed that a diversion programme where Moosa assisted people would be better suited. Mabiya and Rossouw suggested Moosa perform 12 operations for free. The parties agreed and the matter was settled out of court.
"This case has provided the opportunity for the taxpayers involved to make reparations to society in a very fitting and suitable manner. All taxpayers have a legal duty to submit their tax returns and to pay their taxes that are due. Failing to do so, harms all in society," Mabiya said.