South Africa’s Gov’t Goes After Late Singer’s Property Over Tax Evasion

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The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has taken decisive action to recover over R3 million (approximately Sh22 million) in unpaid taxes by auctioning prime properties belonging to the late singer and guitarist Bulelwa Mkutukana, known by her stage name, Zahara.

The celebrated artist, renowned for her hit song ‘Loliwe,’ passed away on December 11, 2023, leaving behind a legacy marred by financial controversies.

Zahara’s struggles with tax evasion were highly publicised, involving numerous court cases and convictions for contempt due to skipping court sessions.

Despite her musical acclaim, these legal battles highlighted significant lapses in her financial obligations.

With her passing, SARS has now turned to her estate, seeking to recover the substantial tax debt she accrued over the years.

This move by SARS has ignited a debate across South Africa. Some criticise the tax agency for not allowing Zahara to ‘rest in peace’ arguing that pursuing the debt posthumously is insensitive and excessive.

However, others contend that SARS is acting appropriately, emphasising that the singer’s repeated tax evasion while alive justifies the current measures.