Durban - “I’m glad that I’m a free woman,” shouted Durban businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane on Friday after being acquitted of more than 100 counts of tax fraud.
“I was worried that if this case dragged on for any longer I was going to run out of outfits,” joked the flamboyant woman, known for her penchant for expensive designer clothes with matching bags and shoes.
“You know, if this case had to go on any longer I would have had to wear my Zikhulise overall uniform,” she laughed, sitting cosily next to her husband, S’bu, who she described as her rock throughout three trying years.
Mpisane was speaking from the offices of Shaukat Karim attorneys where a celebratory lunch was held for her and her legal team – advocates Jimmy Howse and Rafiq Bhana, and attorneys Phila Magwaza and Shaukat Karim.
Mpisane had been accused of inflating the invoices of her business – Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance, and Transport CC – by almost R5 million to cut her tax bill.
She was also accused of violating the Close Corporations Act by remaining Zikhulise’s sole member when she had a previous fraud conviction.
Yesterday the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed that the Pinetown charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice would also be withdrawn against Mpisane as they related to the tax fraud matter.
She had been accused of interfering with a State witness.
While there was no bad blood between her and the NPA, Mpisane said she felt all the cases against her were uncalled for.
“I’ve paid about R10 million in legal fees. This was really uncalled for,” she said.
Her husband described the lunch as the “last supper” before their new life.
“We are now gearing ourselves up for the elections,” said S’bu.
Two weeks ago the State also withdrew more than 50 charges of fraud, forgery and uttering of forged documents against Mpisane.
The charges were dropped because a forensic investigation could not be completed on time.