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The charges against businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane continued to mount as more fraud counts were added in the Pinetown Regional Court on Thursday.
As it stands, Mpisane will have to defend herself against 181 charges in three different cases which are pending before the courts.
In the Pinetown case, Mpisane and her company, Zikhulise Cleaning Maintenance and Transport, are facing charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice arising from allegations that she persuaded a State witness to alter evidence.
The State alleges that Mpisane had asked Nilendra Allopi, of Nelson Allopi and Associates, to amend invoices, tampering with evidence to be used in her tax fraud trial.
Prosecutor Meera Naidu told the court on Thursday that seven fraud charges were being added to the charge sheet.
Naidu also said the matter was ready to be set down for trial and that the necessary documents had been handed to the defence to enable it to prepare.
Mpisane’s advocate Jimmy Howse said he hoped that the documents that he had received from the State were “all of it”.
“We just want to be satisfied that this is the case the State is relying on, so we can be ready for the trial,” he said.
The new fraud counts relate to alleged incorrect documents Mpisane submitted to the SA revenue Service (Sars) about her income tax return for the 2008 financial year. It is alleged that Mpisane deceived Sars by reflecting her personal expenses in the business account of the company.
These charges first emerged during Mpisane’s tax fraud trial in the Durban Regional Court where she is facing 119 counts of fraud involving R4.7 million for submitting fake invoices and financial returns to Sars.
The State alleges that the fraud counts were discovered after the Hawks and Sars investigated certain admissions she had made in her plea statement during the trial.
Mpisane is also fighting a battle in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for the return of her and her husband’s assets.
These were preserved by the Asset Forfeiture Unit earlier this month as “proceeds of crime” relating to another fraud investigation that she has been charged with.
In that case, Mpisane is charged with fraud, forgery and uttering relating to her alleged submission of false documentation to the Construction Industry Development Board, boosting gradings granted to her company which resulted in her fraudulently getting five contracts from the Department of Public Works valued at more than R140m between 2005 and last year.
The Pinetown matter has been set down for trial in September this year. The other two cases are to go back to court in April and May respectively.