‘Tax-dodging’ Mpisanes have cars seized, ‘are broke’

FILE PICTURE: Sbu and Shauwn Mpisane during their year-end party at the Mpisane residence on December 31, 2013, in Durban, South Africa. S'bu and Shawn Mpisane hosted a lavish New Year's Eve party at their home in La Lucia. Picture: Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: Sbu and Shauwn Mpisane during their year-end party at the Mpisane residence on December 31, 2013, in Durban, South Africa. S'bu and Shawn Mpisane hosted a lavish New Year's Eve party at their home in La Lucia. Picture: Gallo Images

Durban’s glitzy, tender-flush couple allege they’re being targeted for exposing corruption at Sars.

Shauwn and Sbu Mpisane won’t be having such a festive holiday period after the SA Revenue Service (Sars) seized their assets yet again.

The Sunday Independent reports that the Mpisanes and their companies owe as much as R200 million in tax, according to court documents submitted by Sars. It reports that the Mpisanes acknowledged the debts but were “not in a position to pay the outstanding tax debt” because government departments have not been paying them.

They reportedly own 128 cars, including various Rolls-Royces, Porsches, Mercedes-Benzes, a Ferrari and a Maserati. They are also believed to own at least 10 properties.

The eThekwini municipality declared that it had awarded R1.1 billion in tenders to the Mpisanes over the past three years alone.

Sars has questioned the Mpisanes’ protestations that they’re too broke to pay back any money. It alleges in its court papers that they are “creating new entities and using creative accounting transactioning to the prejudice of Sars and other creditors”.

S’Bu Mpisane told The Mercury that they were being targeted by Sars after “we reported corrupt Sars officials for a R4 million bribe”.

It is alleged that they have not registered any of their employees for Paye As You Earn tax, and that they evaded paying VAT. In 2014, Shauwn Mpisane was charged with more than 110 counts of tax fraud for allegedly inflating her VAT expenditure for one company.

She walked free after her legal team alleged that the prosecutor had acted unlawfully in bringing the charges. Despite the prosecutor later being cleared of any wrongdoing, those charges were not reinstated. At that time, their cars were also seized by Sars, and then returned.

The couple is known for hosting lavish year-end parties, but that’s unlikely to happen again this year.

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