Award-winning songstress Zahara has handed herself over to police after failing to appear in court for tax-related charges on several occasions.
Musician Bulelwa Mkutukana, popularly known by her stage name Zahara, handed herself over to police and made a brief appearance in court for a case brought by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) on Monday 7 June after failing to appear several times.
ZAHARA HANDS HERSELF OVER TO POLICE
According to TimesLive, Zahara failed to appear in court several times for a case brought by SARS for tax-related charges.
On Monday, the award-winning singer handed herself over to police and appeared at the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court where she was found guilty of contempt of court after failing to appear several times before. This was in line with the execution of her warrant of arrest that was issued back in April.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed to TimesLive that Zahara was charged in her personal capacity and as a representative of her company Zahara Trading (Pty) Ltd for the non-submission of both personal and her company’s income tax returns to Sars.
The NPA spokesperson stated that advocate Nerissa Reddy from the Johannesburg specialised tax unit said that the musician’s reasons for not appearing in court were reasonable. However, presiding officer Emmanuel Magampa found the musicians reasoning to be unreasonable and she was therefore served with a R1500 fine or three months imprisonment.
Mjonondwane further stated that Zahara only appeared in court after commercial crime investigators began tracing her whereabouts. She also said that Zahara will not be treated with kit gloves due to her celebrity status and that everyone is equal in the court of law.
“(Zahara was) currently away and unavailable as she prepares for her album release next month,” said Eric Gyimah of Warner Music SA to TimesLive.
“I have no further comment,” he added.
Zahara will have to reappear in court on 25 June for the disclosure docket for the SARS tax return case. If she does not appear she will be requested to hand in her passport to the commercial crimes officers within 24 hours of the court appearance and to report to the Roodeport police station on Tuesday and Thursday between 8am and 6pm.