South Africa: Bloemfontein Businessmen Sentenced for Tax Evasion

press release

Three businessmen were found guilty on Monday by the Bloemfontein Magistrate for defrauding the South African Revenue Services (SARS).

Sekhukhune Mokoena (46), Mohapi Lekoro (44) and Louis Harmse (43) pleaded guilty on 21 counts of fraud and two counts for failure to return income tax returns.

Between 2009 and 2012 Temoso Trading 135 CC was granted several tenders by the Bloemfontein Municipality but failed to submit tax returns as required. The Hawks' Serious Commercial Investigation team were tasked to investigate the fraud.

Temoso Trading 135 CC was sentenced to R200 000 fine totally suspended for 5 years, Mokoena was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment totally suspended for 5 years and was ordered to repay R648 168-22 to SARS.

Lekoro was also sentenced to 8 years imprisonment totally suspended for 5 years but must pay back R648 168-22 to SARS whilst Harmse got 8 years imprisonment totally suspended for 5 years.

In another separate case, Scott Brown (42) and his accomplice Zelda Maddocks were found guity on 24 counts of fraud and a further 24 counts of money laundering.

In 2016 Brown approached livestock farmers and expressed interest to purchase cattle from them. He managed to get away with cattle worth more than R8.5 million with an arrangement that he would pay the sellers after he was paid by the abattoir.

No money was paid and an investigation by the sellers revealed that Brown sold the cattle to the abattoir and pocketed the money to himself. An investigation by the Hawks led to the arrest of Brown and Maddock in December the same year.

On Monday, both Brown and Maddocks were found guilty on 24 counts of fraud and 24 counts of money laundering as stipulated in Sec 4 read with Sec 1 and 8 of POCA, Act 121 of 1998. The two who are out on bail and will be sentenced on the 8th and 9th of October 2019 in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court.

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