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Johannesburg - A former ANC councillor in Zakariyya Park, south of Joburg, is among 13 alleged fraudsters accused of scamming the SA Revenue Service (Sars) of more than R100million.
Thabile Octavia Nkosi, 51, appeared as accused number eight in the fraud and money-laundering case being heard by Judge Sam Makamu.

Nkosi, formerly a councillor for Ward 122, sat in the dock with her co-accused on Monday as the matter was postponed for the second time.

The matter, set to be heard over four weeks, also did not proceed on Friday. The State has lined up 55 witnesses to testify against the 13.

Nkosi was arrested along with her co-accused in 2015 when she was still councillor of the ward, covering Zakariyya Park, Lehae and Vlakfontein. She was elected councillor in 2011.

The first accused in the case is Nyasha Dube, 50, and the second accused is Rebecca Dube, 46.

The other accused are Maxwell Ndlovu, 51, Christopher Dube, 47, Constance Ramone, 34, Edward Shoniwa, 47, Zamaswazi Radebe, 41, Daniel Khanyile, 47, Bongani Mbonani, 42, Sello Rathebe, 52, Michael Phiri, 42 and Bonisiwe Ndlovu, 45.

Prosecutors sought to prove the case brought forward by Sars in 2015 that the accused defrauded it of over R100m through a VAT refunds scam.

Sars maintained it lost the money to the group between June 2009 and June 2015. They had allegedly claimed a further R100m fraudulently when they were nabbed.

The revenue service alleged that the 13 acted in common purpose by claiming on behalf of various companies.

They allegedly claimed and got paid for tax returns that were not due to the companies. Proceeds of the fraud were channelled to companies they owned, Sars alleged.

The prosecutor's indictment sheet lists a whopping 391 counts of fraud against the accused.

“Accused one to 13 and other persons, known and unknown to the State, formed an enterprise (that contravened) section 1 of the Proceeds of Crime Act,” it said.

“The purpose of the enterprise was to defraud the SA Revenue Service by submitting VAT returns claiming returns which were not due to them and/or by making bank accounts available to the enterprise for the use of conduit for fraudulently obtained VAT refunds.”

The indictment sheet said first accused Dube and Ndlovu faced an additional charge of corruption because they offered R150000 to a senior revenue official to ensure their false claim was paid out.

Nkosi and her co-accused have pleaded not guilty to the charges. They are expected to depose their defence this week or next week.

The Star