Prominent Maseru businessman Ashraf Abubaker appeared before the Maseru Magistrate’s Court this week facing 24 counts of tax-evasion.
Mr Abubaker is charged together with his company, Phamola Caretakers (Pty) LTD.
He appeared before Magistrate Monyake Hlabanyane on Monday and was released on M10 000 bail. He also paid a similar bail deposit for his company, and put up a Mercedes Benz S500 as surety. The case continues on 6 April.
Phamola are retailers of livestock, mohair, hides, fruits, vegetables, ice and household electrical appliances.
Part of the charge sheet reads: “In that upon or about the 17th day of November 2014 and at or near Maseru within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, Accused One and Accused Two…deliberately or recklessly failed to apply for registration of Accused One as required by section 17(1)(a) of the VAT Act 2001 despite having made taxable supplies the taxable value of which exceeded the registration threshold of M850 000.00 for the period beginning 1st November 2013 and ending 1st November 2014.”
“…Accused One, represented by Accused Two, is guilty of contravening section 175(1), read with section 128(1) of the Income Tax Act, in that at or near Maseru within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, Accused One being a taxpayer in terms of the Income Tax Act, did not file on the due date or at all, income tax returns in respect of tax periods (1994 to 2005).”
Advocate Thabo Mpaka is representing Mr Abubaker in the case, while Advocate Lechesa Mahao prosecutes.