Hawks pounce on Bonang as SARS zooms in on taxes

Bonang Matheba
Image: Masi Losi

Top radio and TV presenter Bonang Matheba was summonsed to appear in the Joburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Monday for tax fraud.

But Matheba only appeared in the court on Wednesday, apparently after making arrangements with officials from the Hawks.

The matter was adjourned sine dine(indefinitely) pending the outcome of further investigations.

Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mulamu confirmed the case but declined to reveal the name of the suspect.

"Office of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Serious Commercial Crimes Unit, received a number of complaints from SARS against high-profile business people for further investigation regarding tax return matters.

"However, we cannot at this moment confirm who the suspect is since they have not yet appeared in court or been charged. This matter is still under investigation," she said.

SARS spokesperson Sandile Memela declined to comment on the matter.

"As you may be aware, SARS does not divulge specific details on the affairs of taxpayers. SARS is bound by chapter 6 of the Tax Administration Act 2011 dealing with confidentiality of information."

Meanwhile, National Prosecuting Authority South Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed Matheba had appeared in court.

"The matter was not placed on the roll pending further investigation," she said.

Two court officials who are close to the case claimed that Matheba's legal woes were as a result of her alleged failure to submit her full tax returns.

"What these celebrities do is submit their tax returns covering work they do during the course of the year but deliberately omit to declare income they make during festive seasons or Easter weekends, which are the periods in which they make lots and lots of money."

Another official echoed the same sentiments.

"She failed to submit her tax returns and as result SARS asked the Hawks to help them bring her to book.

"They have not actually made actual calculations but because they decided to go the criminal route, it should be more than a million."

Matheba's publicist Davin Phillips said: "It appears there are factual errors in your e-mail, Miss Matheba was never "summonsed to appear" and never "appeared on charges of tax fraud".

". should you publish anything that is harmful or detracts from our client's good name and reputation, we shall immediately exercise all remedies in law, including a substantial claim for damages ."            

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