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2023/08/30      |  Written By:  Warrant Officer N Mhlakuvana   |   Province:  Eastern Cape

EASTERN CAPE - The East London based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team together with National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as well as South African Revenue Services (SARS) ensured that the East London Regional Court convicted and sentenced Sibulele April (39) for charges of fraud on 29 August 2023. April was reportedly working at East London based (SARS) branch as a consultant.

During the  period between 2014 to 2016, April reportedly submitted false tax returns on behalf of Zukiswa Mentile.  SARS upon conducting its internal auditing processes as well as tax return assessments picked up the red flags. Then the matter was then  referred to the Hawks for probing. The investigation revealed that Mentile’s tax returns indeed were falsely submitted during the said period and she was charged but  later the charges were withdrawn. The investigation further exposed that SARS was indeed prejudiced a total amount of R172 000 .

April was ultimately arrested by East London based investigation team of the Hawks on 26 July 2018. She later the same day appeared in East London Magistrate’s court and was released on a warning.          

April made numerous court appearances until her conviction and sentencing on 29 August 2023. She was sentenced to pay an amount of R5000 or five (5) years imprisonment suspended for a period of five (5) years on condition that she is not convicted of forgery, fraud, uttering or theft during the period of suspension. April was further declared unfit to possess a firearm. April opted for the option of payment of a fine of R5000.

The Eastern Cape Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Provincial Head, Major General Obed Ngwenya commended the investigation team for the tremendous job that led to the conviction and sentencing of the accused person.