Daily Archives: August 28, 2018

The Acting National Commissioner condemns acts of vigilantism that led to three deaths, six people have been arrested

Pretoria: The Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, Lieutenant General Lebeoana Jacob Tsumane, has in the strongest possible terms, condemned two separate incidents of vigilantism in Gauteng and Eastern Cape provinces. The Acting National Commissioner has also commended the police on the swift arrest of six suspects associated with the incidents. This after three people were allegedly killed and set on fire respectively by a group of community members accusing them of criminality.

The first incident occurred yesterday, 27 August 2018, in Stinkwater, north of Pretoria in Gauteng where two men were allegedly assaulted and set on fire after being accused of being part of a syndicate that is terrorising members of the community in the area with regards to bank card skimming. Their vehicle was also set on fire.

The second incident occurred in the Eastern Cape in Dindini area of Mbizana where the local interim chief aged 49, was allegedly killed and burned by a group of people at his home stead. The mob decided to go and take the law into their own hands after holding a meeting. Six suspects aged between 28 and 57 were arrested soon after the incident. The motive for the attack will form part of police investigation.

The Acting National Commissioner has condemned these incidents and has instructed the provinces to investigate incidents to the latter and arrest more perpetrators of these crimes that he has compared to anarchy. Communities are the eyes and ears of the police and when there are people suspected of committing any criminal offences, the community is required to report those people to the police for further investigation, said Lt Gen Tsumane.

The General also commended the police in the Eastern Cape for the swift arrest of six suspects and went on to say that mob justice or vigilantism is tantamount to crime and those arrested will be subjected to the justice system processes. We will always act decisively and arrest those that commit these cruel attacks. We will not condone these kind of heinous crimes. The community has to report any criminal activity to the police to investigate. No one is allowed to take the law into their own hands, said Lt General Tsumane.

The arrested suspects are appearing in the Mbizana Magistrates Court today, 28 August 2018.

Source: South African Police Service

South Africa Withdraws Land Expropriation Bill Passed in 2016

South Africa’s parliament withdrew an expropriation bill it passed in 2016 that allowed the state to make compulsory purchases of land to redress racial disparities in ownership, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said Tuesday.

The thrust of the bill, which had not been signed into law, has been overtaken by a proposal by the ANC to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation.

The bill was meant to enable the state to pay for land at a value determined by a government adjudicator and then expropriate it for the “public interest,” ending the willing-buyer, willing-seller approach to land reform.

However, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Aug. 1 the ANC plans to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation, as whites still own most of South Africa’s territory.

South Africans are taking part in public hearings on land reform that are being held countrywide, to give their comments on the ANC’s proposal to change the constitution.

“The bill in its current form would need to be reconsidered in light of the process of reviewing Section 25 of the constitution for the expropriation of land without compensation,” said Nonceba Mhlauli, a spokeswoman for the ANC’s chief whip.

“Were the bill to be reintroduced, it would contain a clause or clauses reflecting expropriation of land without compensation if that is the way that South Africans have chosen to go,” she said.

The rand rallied briefly on the news, firming more than one percent to a session high of 13.9525 before giving up all the gains to trade at 14.1250 at 1502 GMT.

Markets and investors are wary because of concerns about wider threats to property rights.

Source: Voice of America

Two found guilty of defrauding SARS

A bogus tax practitioner was one of two people sentenced to a combined 26 years direct imprisonment for defrauding the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Cornelius Johannes Kriek (42) from the East Rand pleaded guilty to 29 fraud charges, 21 money laundering charges and one charge of corrupting a public official.

Kriek was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment at the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

On Thursday, the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court sentenced Thomas Bloemeris Fortuin (66) to six years direct imprisonment. He pleaded guilty to 236 charges of fraud and forgery relating to the tax affairs of close corporations belonging to members of his family.

He pleaded guilty to all the charges put to him in terms of a plea bargain agreement reached with the State. Magistrate W van der Merwe handed down an additional 12 months imprisonment to Fortuin for failure to submit two income tax returns.

Three of the six-year imprisonment sentence and the one-year jail sentence for failure to submit outstanding returns were suspended conditionally for five years.

SARS said Kriek presented himself as a bookkeeper to unsuspecting Value Added Tax (VAT) vendors, offering swift and corrective action by submitting VAT201 returns on their behalf.

Suspicion was raised by a legitimate tax practitioner, who discovered that a large refund had been paid into the account of her former client within a short while after the client had switched his account to Kriek.

The 42-year-old was also sentenced to 84 years imprisonment, suspended wholly, but conditionally for money laundering and 10 years imprisonment for corrupting a public official.

Five of the ten years is to be served concurrently with sentences for other charges.

It is alleged that a former SARS employee, previously employed by SARS as a VAT auditor for 35 years, assisted Kriek to commit the fraud. The cases against the two accused were recently separated after Kriek pleaded guilty. The case against the former SARS employee continues on 23 October 2018, said the revenue service on Tuesday.

The fraudulent refunds were divided between the vendors, Kriek and the SARS employee. A total of 18 companies were involved in the VAT refund scheme, which created an actual loss of just over R32.9 million to the fiscus.

In Fortuin’s case, two other accused were also sentenced, namely his son Tom Ross and bookkeeper Ivor Carlo Carolissen, who assisted the family to commit the crimes.

The two also entered into a plea bargain with the State and they were both sentenced to four years imprisonment, suspended for five years and 18 months correctional supervision, which includes house arrest and community service.

Fortuin was found guilty of 79 charges of fraud, while Carolissen was found guilty on 167 charges of fraud.

Mr Fortuin (junior) was ordered to pay SARS back an amount of R615 592, representing the full capital amount of money stolen from SARS through the scams perpetuated by the accused. This money had to be paid in full before the sentencing procedure, and has been received by SARS, said SARS.

He was also sentenced to 12 months, suspended for five years, for failure to submit three income tax returns.

The sentences follow an investigation by SARS criminal investigators, which revealed that the individuals submitted fraudulent VAT refund claims to SARS, based on fictitious transactions between the family’s four close corporations.

Group Executive for Criminal Investigations at SARS, Neo Tsholanku, welcomed the sentences, adding that the revenue service is committed to the fight against corruption.

Tsholanku said the sentences also show that the courts are increasingly taking a stance against failure to submit tax returns to SARS.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has prosecuted 29 cases since April 2018, maintaining a conviction rate of 97%. More than 400 other cases dealing with tax crimes are currently on trial.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Committee to Be Briefed by Denel and South African Express Airways

Parliament� The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises will be briefed by Denel on performance targets for 2018/19 and progress made in addressing governance challenges. Furthermore, the committee will be briefed by South African Express Airways on its turnaround strategy.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa