Court raps kwaito star for dodging tax

FINED: Magesh. Pic. Lucky Nxumalo. 14/08/07. © Sowetan.
FINED: Magesh. Pic. Lucky Nxumalo. 14/08/07. © Sowetan.

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Kwaito star Tokollo Tshabalala had to pay R12000 yesterday to stay out of jail.

Magesh, as Tshabalala is known to his fans, was convicted in the Johannesburg magistrates' court for failing to submit tax return forms.

He had failed to file his tax returns between 1999 and 2005. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment with the option of a R20000 fine.

The remaining R8000 was suspended for three years on condition that he did not get convicted on the same offence again.

He will also have to pay back all due costs to the South African Revenue Services. The 31-year-old musician owes more than R665000 in tax.

Magistrate Zacharia Mashobane said: "If you fail to abide by the law and further fail to pay back Sars, you will be brought back to court and then you will be sent straight to jail."

Mashobane added: "This is a very serious offence that you have committed. Being a celebrity and pleading guilty to the charges does not mean that you will not get a direct imprisonment sentence."

He said he had taken into account the seriousness of the offence, Tshabalala's personal circumstances and the community's interests before passing sentence.

His attorney Ismael Casoo instructed Advocate Cassim Moosa to handle the case yesterday.

Tshabalala had pleaded guilty to the charge. Though the sentence has been passed, Tshabalala is still to lodge an objection against the capital amount of R665209,67.

"My client thought that Sony BMG was going to take care of the tax form submission. He only realised later that he had fallen foul of the law," said Moosa.

Moosa said that the money should be reduced to at least R250000.

State prosecutor Advocate Dudu Ndlovu said high-profile people such as Tshabalala should lead by example and abide by the law.