Blue lights fitment firm owner arrested for fraud and corruption

The legal proceedings connected to tax fraud involving Phineas Manthata, his company and his two co-accused parties has been rescheduled for May 6, 2024. Manthata owns Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement, which is cited in the lawsuit.

This comes after their appearance in the Palm Ridge magistrates’ court on Tuesday, where they were each granted R10,000 bail. The tax fraud allegations emanated from the investigation by SARS.

Tax practitioners implicated in tax crime

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) stated that the three are accused of violating the Tax Administration Act and engaging in fraudulent activities during the tax assessment periods of 2016–2017 and 2018–2019.

In 2017 SARS lost R8 598 363. During the 2018 and 2019 tax periods, SARS lost a total of R19 312 870.

The other two are Daniel Rothman, a certified tax practitioner who serves Manthata’s business, and Judy Rose, an employee who worked for Manthata as a tax practitioner.

Rothman, who is accused number three, was wearing a navy blue blazer and a white shirt. Rothman was a registered tax practitioner who submitted the tax returns for Manthata for the 2016 and 2017 years of assessment.

NPA Spokesperson Henry Mamothame confirmed the charges. He said Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement received an illegal R191-million contract. This was between March 2016 and March 2017 – to equip police cars with emergency blue lights.

Former police commissioner implicated

Sunday World understands that former acting police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane,  and seven others are being charged. They face charges of fraud, corruption, and forgery.

“After the charges were laid against Phahlane and his co-accused, the investigations was extended into the company’s tax compliance. The matter was referred to the South African Revenue Service (Sars) for a thorough probe,” said Mamothame.

After the investigations, it was revealed that some of the representations made in the tax returns submitted to Sars were not truthful. The taxable income earned by the company in the stated period were false.

“The gross income in these submissions was also falsified. This [led] to a total loss of over R27-million to Sars and the National Treasury.”

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