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.
Bonang was initially meant to appear in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Monday, eventually appearing on Wednesday after making arrangements with Hawks officials, where the matter was adjourned pending further investigation.
According to Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mulamo, the Office of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s Serious Commercial Crimes unit “received a number of complaints from SARS against high-profile business people for further investigation regarding tax return matters.”
Mulamo, however, would not confirm the name of the suspect.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed that it was indeed Bonang who had appeared in court.
“The matter was placed on the roll pending further investigation,” she said.
Anonymous officials told Sunday World that Bonang’s alleged failure to submit her full tax returns is the reason behind the case.
“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,” one official alleged.
“She failed to submit her tax returns and as a result SARS asked the Hawks to help them bring her to book. They have not made actual calculations but because they decided to go the criminal route, it should be more than a million,” said another.
But her publicist Davin Philips claims Bonang was not “summonsed to appear,” and did not appear on charges of tax fraud, threatening Sunday World with legal action and a”substantial claim for damages” if the publication were to “publish anything that is harmful or detracts from our client’s good reputation.”
Bonang is not the only high profile celebrity who may be having problems with SARS.
Earlier in August it was reported that Bonang’s one-time best friend before they parted ways after a fall-out, Somizi “Somgaga” Mhlongo, had been paid a visit by repo men who seized several of his movable assets due to him allegedly owing SARS large sums of money. They were later auctioned off.
Among the items that went under the hammer were 15 Louis Vuitton bags, a crocodile skin couch, 83 pairs of shades, and a fridge, according to the report.
The paper alleges the items were seized because the South African Revenue Service (Sars) says the reality TV star owes it R2.5 million.
Last year it was reported that he apparently came to the taxman’s attention in 2014 “when he flaunted his assets on social media platforms and TV”.