Court tells Zwai Bala not to dlala with taxes

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Singer Zwai Bala would have spent last night behind bars had he not paid half of the fine that was his sentence in the Johannesburg magistrates' court yesterday morning.

Bala, who was charged with not paying tax between 1999 and 2003, was sentenced to a fine of R40000 or five years in prison.

Half of the fine was suspended for three years, which meant he had to pay R20000 yesterday.

But the musician, whose real name is Mzwandile Bala, was only able to pay R10000 yesterday. The remaining R10000 must be paid on or before May 31.

He also has to pay R805511 that he owes the South African Revenue Services.

Bala spent almost two hours in the cells while his accountant went out to get the required R10000.

Zwai and the former members of the group TKZee allegedly owe R2million to the tax man.

Kabelo Mabalane and Tokollo Tshabalala allegedly owe R886489 and R665209 respectively.

This figure is based on money received from Sony BMG Music Entertainment, the SA Music Rights Organisation and Electro Mode Music South Africa.

Magistrate Zacharia Mashobane said: "We want people to know that if they do not pay their taxes they will be charged."

Bala refused to comment.