Horror as SARS demands R100 million tax from Africa's richest prophet Shepherd Bushiri: Pay us within 10 days


The glitz and glamour of the religious broadcasting world has been rocked by a jarring revelation – Prophet Shepherd Bushiri's Prophetic Channel is facing a staggering tax bill of over R100 million, courtesy of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Sunday World has reported.

"This is the kind of juicy scandal that our readers absolutely devour," says Celeb Gossip News' senior reporter, Thando Ndlovu. "Bushiri has built an empire on his purported prophetic powers, and now his crown jewel, the Prophetic Channel, is embroiled in a high-stakes battle with the taxman. It's the kind of drama that's just too good to ignore."

According to court documents, Prophetic Channel currently owes SARS more than R15 million in unpaid company tax, a figure that has since swelled to over R19 million due to the addition of penalties and interest. Moreover, Bushiri's entity has accumulated a debt of over R11.8 million in unpaid value-added tax, which has skyrocketed to R26.8 million after SARS imposed additional tax, interests, and administrative penalties.

The renowned Christian channel, through which Bushiri communicates with his followers, also finds itself owing SARS a staggering R28.4 million in unpaid pay-as-you-earn monies. This amount has surged to over R69.6 million after SARS included additional tax, penalties, and interests. The tax authority has also discovered that Prophetic Channel has outstanding debt of over R400,000 related to the unemployment insurance fund (UIF) and more than R600,000 in the skill development levy (SDL).

The audit conducted by SARS at its branch in Cape Town, Western Cape, revealed that the channel's SDL books were in disarray, further complicating its financial predicament. This SDL debt alone has escalated to over R1.8 million when penalties, additional tax, and interests were added.

SARS did not take these alleged irregularities lightly. Prior to applying for judgment, the tax authority sent multiple letters of demand to the channel, registered as MajorIVP, in an attempt to resolve the issue. These letters, dated May 29 last year and January 30 this year, demanded varying amounts, with the latest letter seeking over R69 million.

The correspondence from SARS included stern warnings, threatening to seize and sell the channel's assets if the full amount was not paid within ten business days. The tax authority even went as far as mentioning the possibility of sequestration or liquidation should the debt remain unpaid. Alongside the demands, SARS outlined specific remedies for the channel, including the option to apply for a debt suspension or a compromise agreement if Bushiri disputed the amounts owed.

In response to the allegations, Bushiri's channel was unable to make representations to settle the matter with SARS, leading the tax authority to proceed with obtaining a judgment against Prophetic Channel.

The flamboyant and controversial prophet, Shepherd Bushiri, who left South Africa and sought refuge in his native Malawi following his arrest by the Hawks on charges of fraud and money laundering, finds himself embroiled in yet another legal battle. This time, it's not just legal troubles but a massive tax bill that threatens to tarnish his reputation further.

As the court case unfolds, the nation awaits the outcome with bated breath. Will Prophet Shepherd Bushiri's Prophetic Channel be held accountable for its alleged tax evasion? And what impact will this have on the controversial prophet's vast network and devoted followers? Only time will reveal the answers to these pressing questions.

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