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R4.3m tax dodge lands Cape Town businessman behind bars

A Cape Town businessman has been sentenced to an effective four-and-a-half years in jail for dodging tax payments equivalent to 56 teacher salaries.

Moegamat Saban‚ 58‚ of Plumstead‚ was found guilty in the Cape Town Regional Court after a lengthy trial‚ and the National Prosecuting Authority said on Tuesday the verdict and sentence were a warning to other potential tax cheats who were effectively “stealing from the poorest of the poor”.

“The NPA welcomes the sentence imposed by the court. This sends a clear message to taxpayers that non-compliance to their tax obligations – for example the non-submission of returns and the non-payment of taxes – can lead to hefty sentences‚” the NPA said.

Somizi reflects on being 'nailed' by the taxman for R3.4 millionSomizi Mhlongo has recounted how he was once hauled in by the taxman for owing a whopping R3.4 million. 

Saban‚ 58‚ was found guilty of numerous contraventions of the Income Tax Act‚ among them the non-submission of more than 200 returns. The NPA said evidence during the trial highlighted the cost to the country of the unpaid R4.3-million‚ which could have funded a housing subsidy for 77 families.

“The funds were also equivalent to 2‚905 child grants or 667 pensioner grants for a year‚” the statement said.

At one stage during the trial‚ Saban claimed he was not well enough to appear before the court. According to a media report at the time he was deemed fit to stand trial following a 30-day psychiatric observation period at Valkenberg Hospital.

 

 

 

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