Johannesburg – An elderly Ekurhuleni couple accused of defrauding the South African Revenue Service (Sars) of R53 million has been granted bail.
Christo Francois Pienaar, 64, and Elsie Elizabeth Pienaar, 62, who are now divorced, appeared at the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday.
They were granted R100 000 bail each.
Hawks Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said it is alleged the pensioners created and submitted false tax invoices to Sars during June 2013 and March 2014.
After investigations were completed, a warrant of arrest was obtained and the Haws started looking for them.
However, Mulamu said, somehow someone told them the Hawks were looking to arrest them.
“They then handed themselves over to the Palm Ridge Court accompanied by their legal representatives.
“We then took them to the police station for processing as you can’t just hand yourself over to court.”
Mulamu said the fraud case was related to the two companies the pair own, Malibongwe Metals & Minerals and Hennox 8321 CC, that sell second-hand gold.
She said they seized various item as well as documents from both companies and those are currently in the possession of the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Investigation unit.
The couple were still married at the time of the alleged fraud and now live in separate homes, though they still run the companies together.
“One lives in Benoni and the other in Boksburg. Their case has been postponed to November 6 pending further investigations,” Mulamu said.