A Cape Town doctor who recently faced the possibility of being criminally charged for not submitting his income tax returns, went on to perform 12 free operations.
According to Cape Town etc, the 71- year-old orthopaedic surgeon Nisar Ahmed Moosa and his company allegedly failed to submit tax returns between 2009 and 2017. What’s more, the company was fined R15 000 which was wholly suspended for five years on condition that it is not convicted of contravening the Income Tax Act and the Tax Administration Act during the period of suspension.
TimesLive reports that it is alleged that the doctor and his company employed accountants who were tasked with submitting income tax returns on their behalf but failed to do so. However, the serious charges were withdrawn after the doctor completed a diversion programme. Eric Ntabazalila, the spokesperson for the prosecution in the Western Cape, said the programme required Moosa to perform operations on 12 patients at Rondebosch Medical Centre.
“These patients were selected from a waiting list of patients at Groote Schuur Hospital. These were ganglion and De Quervain’s tenosynovitis operations (Wrist surgeries),” Ntabazalila said.
The alleged cost of the operations was R300 780 00 which included theatre costs, nursing services, medication, surgeons and anaesthetists, which Moosa’s company paid for. In the meantime, the veteran doctor has employed external auditors and appointed a new accountant.
Ntabazalila said Moosa’s company paid all the bills. “There were thus no costs involved for the patients or Groote Schuur Hospital,” he said.
Prosecutor Monwabisi Mabiya told the court that there was then confusion among them as to who was responsible to submit the returns.
“Because of the accused’s own dereliction, he never followed up with the accountant to confirm if the returns were submitted,” said Mabiya.“Even when contacted by the SA Revenue Service, it was dealt with as a trifling matter and as a result the returns were never submitted.”
He added: “A diversion in this instance could provide a much better outcome in terms of the accused making reparations to society for his conduct rather than being criminally prosecuted and sentenced.
“Being aware of the shortage in resources at state-funded hospitals and the resulting long waiting lists for operations patients at state hospitals have to endure, Adv Rossouw suggested to the defence that the prosecution would be willing to divert the case if Dr Moosa would agree to conduct 12 operations free of charge on patients identified from the Groote Schuur Hospital waiting list. The parties agreed.”