funeral undertaker in hot water OVER TAX

ONE of South Africa's fastest growing funeral undertakers is in hot water for allegedly failing to pay the taxman.

ONE of South Africa's fastest growing funeral undertakers is in hot water for allegedly failing to pay the taxman.

21st Century Funerals owes Sars more than R20000 in unpaid tax.

The company's director, Gabriel Mkhabela, appeared in the Nelspruit magistrate's court yesterday on charges of contravening the Value Added Tax Act.

Appearing with Elias Moeti Mpoeng, who headed the Nelspruit branch which is charged with the tax evasion, Mkhabela was not asked to plead and the case was postponed to next month.

The undertaker is registered as a VAT vendor.

The state alleges the undertaker unlawfully and intentionally failed to pay tax.

But the undertaker insists it is innocent.

Caskey Ndaba, the company's life division chief executive, said the Nelspruit branch was a franchisee.

"Since 21st Century was formed in 1998, we have grown to more than 30 branches," said Ndaba.

"All branches have become franchises and are independent," he said.

"The Nelspruit franchise collapsed a while ago and could not pay tax.

"We have nothing to do with them as they operated independently."

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