The court battle to force Msunduzi Municipality to cancel its R27m sponsorship of Royal AM FC might have received some traction following two court judgments against the team and its owner, Shauwn Mkhize, for not being tax compliant.

The Sunday Independent has seen KZN High Court (Durban) orders revealing that both the team and its multimillionaire tenderpreneur owner combined owe SARS about R50m in outstanding tax payments.

The first order identified the defendant as Mabong Flora-junior Mkhize in a case brought to court by the SARS commissioner.

The court delivered the warrant of execution against the Royal AM president on 21 August, ordering the Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff to ‘attach and remove the movable property of Mabong Flora-junior Mkhize.’

The Sunday Independent established that these were Mkhize’s official names.

Another warrant, which was dated October 16, stated that Royal AM owed the taxman R37.9m plus interest.

While Mkhize has not responded to any of the questions sent to her, Msunduzi spokesperson Nontobeko Mkhize said the municipality would seek legal opinion with regard to the court’s tax orders.

SARS spokesperson Siphithi Sibeko said ‘I can only confirm that SARS is aware of the aforementioned court process and its outcomes’.

Tax expert Willem Oberholzer said a person found to be a tax offender could not do business with the state, and municipalities were elements of the state.

‘You cannot get a tax certificate if your taxes are not in order, but it all depends on the offence and whether it has been crystallised or not. In principle, if you don’t have a tax clearance people (including government) should not do business with you, and that is the rule,’ Oberholzer said.

Full report in The Sunday Independent