Businessman gets five years for tax evasion
East London businessman and former owner of Bush Bucks soccer club Masibulele Sturu Pasiya (61) was sentenced to five years imprisonment for failure to pay tax amounting to more than R4 million in the period between 1998 and 2004.
The East London Regional Court convicted Pasiya and his company, Save Our Souls Security Services, for failing to pay Income Tax, Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Skills Development Levy to the South African Revenue Services (SARS). In his defence, Pasiya argued that it was not his intention to not pay tax.
“The long arm of the law caught up with Pasiya after more than 13 years since the matter was first enrolled at the East London Magistrate Court in May 2006. The unprecedented delays owe to a number of tactics employed by Pasiya, including changing at least seven defence attorneys. He also defaulted in attending court on a number of occasions necessitating the issuing of warrants of arrest that were stayed,” details Luxolo Tyali, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority.
In 2013, Pasiya pleaded not guilty, claiming that he did not intentionally fail to pay SARS.
Advocate Nceba Mahamba, for the state, argued that the absence of intention as a defence was legally misplaced since the state is not required to prove the intention to sustain a conviction of failure to pay levies.
The defence has applied for leave to appeal against the conviction and sentence and Pasiya is out on R10 000 bail, pending the appeal.
“The NPA intends to oppose the application on the basis that the appeal has no prospects of success since Pasiya has always admitted to not having paid his tax dues to SARS,” assured Tyali.