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Former SARS Operational Manager arrested by the Hawks for alleged fraud

Media Statement
Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks)

EASTERN CAPE - The East London based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation of the Hawks arrested Bayanda Xolisa Mehlala (38), the former operational manager at South African Revenue Services (SARS), for charges of fraud and contravention of the Tax Administration Act on 14 April 2023.

It is alleged that in 2020, Mehlala as the operational manager at SARS, registered two companies Zeechor (Pty) Ltd and Astral Commodities (Pty) Ltd. He allegedly unlawfully and intentionally submitted false Tax returns on both companies and with intention to evade tax so as to obtain an undue Value Added Tax (VAT) refund with the total prejudice of more than R2 million. He is reported to have orchestrated the act with Siyanda Rixana (38) whom he allegedly made the director of the two companies.

Rixana has since been arrested by the Hawks in August 2022 and is out on R5000 bail. He is presently attending court in East London for trial.

Mehlala made his short appearance in East London Magistrate’s court on 14 April 2023 the day of his arrest  and was released on R10 000 bail. The matter is remanded to 30 May 2023 for copies of the dockets.


Captain Yolisa Mgolodela      
071 481 2429