Durban - An accountant who helped businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane with her tax affairs did not know that handing her invoices to Sars officials would prejudice her, the Durban Regional Court heard on Wednesday.
Chartered accountant Trevor Dalton said that when he handed Mpisane's invoices to SA Revenue Services (Sars) officials for the alternative dispute resolution (ADR), the repercussions were not discussed.
“I understood that the process was without prejudice and the invoices would be verified by auditors,” Dalton said.
Mabongi Flora-Junior “Shauwn” Mpisane is accused of inflating invoices by more than R5 million to cut her tax bill.
She is also accused of violating the Close Corporations Act by remaining the sole member of Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport CC when she had a previous fraud conviction.
She has pleaded not guilty.
State advocate Meera Naidu called Dalton to testify about his meeting with Mpisane and Sars officials in June 2010, in a trial-within-a-trial on the admissibility of evidence submitted by the State.
The State has submitted as evidence 148 invoices it obtained from Mpisane during the ADR process.
According to Sars legislation, any information provided during the ADR process is confidential.
The court has heard that during its assessment of Mpisane's invoices, Sars discovered they were fraudulent and fictitious, and a criminal case was brought against her.
Dalton told the court that he and Mpisane met Sars officials to settle a dispute regarding cash wages and cash purchases.
“We needed to verify cash purchases and hand over invoices related to such expenditure,” Dalton said.
He testified that he got the invoices from Kishal Reddy, a former financial manager for Mpisane.
During cross-examination, defence attorney Jimmy Howse asked Dalton if he knew that Reddy had forged the invoices. He said he did not.
The trial continues. - Sapa