By Jonk wa Mashamba
The Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court found popular singer and songwriter, Bulelwa Mkutukana known as Zahara guilty of failing to appear in court by the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.
According to Phindi Mjonondwane, NPA
Regional Spokesperson-Gauteng Division, Zahara failed to appear in court on 19 April 2021 and the court issued a warrant for her arrest on that same day. She then appeared in court on 07 June 2021
Mjonondwane said the
magistrate, firstly heard evidence for failure to appear in court in April.
“Thereafter, the court proceeded with the case where she is charged in her personal capacity, as well as a representative of her company, Zahara Trading (Pty) Ltd. In this case she faces charges related to the non-submission of personal and company income-tax returns to the South African Revenue Service.
Mjonondwane further said the state prosecutor, Nerissa Reddy from the Johannesburg Specialised Tax Unit argued that the singer’s reasons for not appearing in court were highly unreasonable.
“He said Mkutukana only appeared in court when the commercial crimes investigators, Warrant Officer Pillay and Constable Tumber began to trace her whereabouts.
“Reddy further argued that Zahara’s celebrity status did not impune her from facing justice. She said ‘justice should be meted out equally, as everyone is equal in the eyes of the law and should be treated as such’,” said Mjonondwane.
The magistrate found Zahara’s reasons for not appearing in court unreasonably. He found her guilty and fined her R1 500 or three months imprisonment.
He further warned her to appear in court at the next appearance date on 25 June 2021. The matter was postponed for disclosure of the contents of the docket to her legal representative.
Mjonondwane indicated that the award-winning muso’s bail conditions were that she must hand in her passport to the commercial crimes officers within 24 hours and to report to the Roodepoort Police Station twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 08h00 and 18h00.