Thozama Sauli (40) who was the bookkeeper of Zone 607 CC company appeared before East London Magistrates’ court on 14 May 2024 for allegations of Value Added Tax fraud. Sauli was ultimately arrested by East London based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation of the Hawks on the same day of his court appearance.  

Her co-accused Mandla Welcome Mashiyi (58) the sole director of Zone 607 CC company was arrested on 26 March 2024 and appeared on 27 March 2024, then released on R10 000-00 bail.

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It is alleged that during the period between 2016 and 2019, Sauli and Mashiyi colluded by intentionally submitting a fraudulent VAT 201 returns to South African Revenue Services (SARS) on behalf of the business entity. Subsequent to that, SARS reportedly conducted its internal assessment and picked up “red flags” in the returns submitted for the  financial years in question. However, some of the returns were reportedly rejected by SARS and some were allegedly paid to the business entity. The matter was reported to the East London SCCI of the Hawks for probing.

The investigation revealed that the accused had intentionally submitted false vat returns to defraud SARS, where the potential prejudice of an amount of over R1.6 million was nearly suffered. Consequently to that, SARS actually suffered a loss of over R245 000-00 in refund to their business entity.  

Sauli was thus released on R10 000-00 bail and the matter was remanded to 16 May 2024 for further investigation.

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The Provincial Head of the Hawks, Major General Mboiki Obed Ngwenya has much – appreciated the determination by team of the Hawks for commendable work done during the arrest of a suspect who intentionally submitted fraudulent vat returns to SARS.

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