A bench warrant has been issued for TV personality Bonang Matheba after she failed to appear at the Special Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday.
The warrant has been held over until October 4.
"Should she fail to appear then a warrant for her arrest will be issued and [she] will be arrested wherever she is," says National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.
Matheba was to appear before the court on tax charges for both her personal tax liability and to represent her company. According to court records, she stands accused of not paying her personal tax between 2008 until 2017, and her company's tax between 2014 and 2017 is also outstanding.
The state would not reveal how much she owes in total.
She will be a host at this year's Global Citizen Festival to take place in Johannesburg on December 2.
Matheba is currently in New York where she moderated a panel discussion with Canadian and French presidents Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Theresa May at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Wednesday.
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...yesterday was a dream!! ???? Had the honour of moderating an incredible panel discussion at the UN General Assembly with special guests UK Prime Minister Theresa May, President Of France Emmanuel Macron & Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau... Thank you @glblctzn for allowing me to speak about a cause so close to my heart, girls education in Africa... We champion on!! One day at a time... ?????? To @chmba_ & @pennies4girls cant wait to work with you again when we get back home, I’m so inspired, in awe of all the incredible work you do. Thank you for your magic. ????#LeaveNoGirlBehind #UNGA
The star initially denied allegations of tax fraud after Sunday World reported last month on the allegations.
Channel24 reached out to her representatives who also denied the allegations.
According to the NPA, Matheba was summoned to the court on 10 September. Her attorney Charl Coetzee told the court she received the invitation to the UN on 17 September.
An apology letter was apparently sent on 25 September to beg off on the appearance. The State has described this as unacceptable because Matheba knew – before accepting the UN invitation – that she was due in court.
"Bonang will not receive special treatment and will be treated like everyone else," says Mjonondwane.
Matheba is one of two public figures named by the prosecuting authority as in default on their tax affairs. Soapie star Rapulana Seiphemo appeared before the court on Wednesday. He allegedly owes the taxman R48,713.02 in personal taxes as well as R111,500 in penalties.
His case has been postponed until 18 October, giving him time to make representation to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
According to the NPA, Seiphemo failed to submit his personal tax returns between 2013 and 2017.
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