Thursday, June 2, 2011

Durban tycoon gets R50 000 bail

Shawn Mpisane, a controversial Durban tycoon facing tax-related charges, was granted R50,000 bail by the Durban Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

She handed herself over to the police on Wednesday after the SA Revenue Services and Hawks raided her posh Durban home on Wednesday.

According to the charge sheet presented in court, Mpisane is accused of unlawfully, falsely and with intent to defraud, misrepresenting submissions on the Vat 201 returns as correct. The money involved is around R2.5m, the court heard.

But her attorney, Themba Mjoli, argued during the bail application that the court should not take the figure as correct, saying that his client was involved in a civil claim with the SA Revenue Service.

"My client is involved in a civil claim with Sars. Sars owed her R10m because they assessed her at a particular figure," Mjoli said.

Mjoli said Sars had already paid Mpisane R6m and that R4m was still outstanding.

It emerged in court that Mpisane has a previous tax-related conviction. Mjoli said Mpisane had not deliberately defrauded Sars, saying she was not familiar with the issue of paying tax.


Mpisane arrived in court in her SUV Porsche and when she saw a group of photographers and cameramen, she took a U-turn. She ended up parking her car some distance from the court.

Mpisane came under scrutiny when it emerged that her husband, Sbu Mpisane, a former Durban metro policeman, had been spotted driving expensive cars.

He was still a police office when the story broke.

It has been widely reported that the couple is super-rich with a fleet of luxury cars including a Rolls Royce Phantom and Lamborghinis. They also own a R15m mansion.

In 2009, it was reported that the couple had received R219m from the eThekwini municipality to build low-income houses on 4 500 sites in Umlazi.

However, the National Home Builders' Registration Council found defects in more than 1 000 of 3 000 houses built by Zikhulise Cleaning and Transport, owned by the Mpisanes. Of the defects, 30 percent were serious and would require major renovations.

The Mpisanes are known for their lavish parties, which are attended by politicians and celebrities.

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