The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has warned taxpayers that it will swoop on those who attempt to evade paying taxes. 

And now SARS has made an example of a 45-year-old tax fraudster who has been convicted and sentenced for failing to pay up the taxes she owed, while requiring a Cape Town surgeon who owed taxes to conduct a dozen free operations on state patients. 

Ruzaan Botha, the sole director of Botha Investment Holdings was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced in the Gqebera Specialised Commercial Crimes Court this week. 

Hawks spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said the state had alleged that between 2010 and 2014, Botha had failed to submit tax returns for an income of R728 157.62, which she earned from the contracts she had with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

“The matter was reported to Gqebera Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team,” Mgolodela said.

She was arrested on 10 May 2018. She made her first court appearance on the 11 May 2018 and she was released on bail.

“After a number of court appearances in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, Botha got convicted and sentenced to R20 000 fine or four years imprisonment suspended for five years,” Mgolodela

Major General Mboiki Obed Ngwenya the Hawks Provincial Head commended the team for the successful conviction.

In a separate tax matter a  Cape Town specialist surgeon has performed twelve operations on selected patients from Groote Schuur Hospital as part of a SARS diversion programme. 

NPA spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila, said Dr Nisar Ahmed Moosa, 71, and his company RMC PHAMARCY (PTY) LTD had been charged with eight counts of failure to submit Company Income Tax Returns for the period of 2009 – 2017.

“The company was fined R15 000 wholly suspended for five years on condition that it is not convicted of contravening the Income Tax Act and the Tax Administration Act during the period of suspension. Charges against Dr Moosa were withdrawn after he successfully completed a diversion programme,” he said.

The programme included that Dr Moosa perform operations on 12 patients at the Rondebosch Medical Centre Hospital. The patients were selected from a waiting list of patients at Groote Schur Hospital. 

“These were Carpal Tunnel, Ganglion and De Quervains operations. The estimated amount of the operations is R300 780 which included theatre costs, nursing services (including bed stay), medication, surgeon and anaesthesist. RMC Pharmacy carried the costs related to the operations including the anesthetist and hospital admission of the patients. There were thus no costs involved for the patients or Groote Schuur Hospital,” he said.

Advocate Monwabisi Mabiya told the court that RMC Pharmacy PTY Ltd and Dr Moosa who was the director and public officer of the company, employed accountants who were tasked with submitting Income Tax Returns on their behalf.  Dr Moosa later employed external auditors and appointed a new accountant.

“There was then confusion amongst them as to who was responsible to submit the returns. Because of the accused`s own dereliction, he never followed up with the accountant to confirm if the returns were submitted and even when contacted by the South African Revenue Services (SARS), it was dealt with as a trifling matter and as a result the returns were never submitted despite the engagement by SARS with the taxpayer,” Mabiya said.

He said representations were made to the Specialised Tax Unit of the NPA and Advocate Kevin Rossouw, the Head of the Western Cape Specialist Tax Unit (STU) and Advocate Mabiya, had agreed that the facts of the case were such that it would not only be a suitable case for diversion, but that a diversion in this instance could provide a much better outcome in terms of the accused making reparations to society for his conduct rather than being criminally prosecuted and sentenced.

Advocate Rossouw and Advocate Mabiya have indicated that they are satisfied that this was a good outcome for all parties involved and that justice had been served.

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Presh JM Reporter

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