Thabiso Hamilton Ndlovu put himself on the South African Revenue Service’s radar when he posted photos of luxury cars he’d just purchased on Twitter last year…

The vehicles were valued at R11 million. During the country’s hard lockdown in May last year, when many South Africans were struggling to put food on the table, Ndlovu was flaunting his luxury lifestyle with five high-end cars he bought for his family. The move brought attention to Ndlovu’s financial affairs and put a target on his back.

The Pretoria High Court confirmed on Tuesday that the Gauteng-based businessman has no defence for his outstanding tax bill.

Presiding Judge Roland Sutherland said “Hamilton Ndlovu is solely responsible for SARS taking an interest in his affairs and that of the respondents. He thrust himself out of obscurity by doing two things. First, in May 2020, he bought five luxury vehicles at about the same time as certain other respondents received payment for lucrative contracts with NHLS. Then, he bragged about this feat online.”

After being investigated by SARS he was found to have last filed his tax returns in 2015 and had racked up a substantial bill with the state.

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After causing a ruckus on Twitter during lockdown, Ndlovu posted an apology that was not well received

The notorious businessman’s deals date far back

Ndlovu became a person of interest for SARS last year when he managed to secure a procurement agreement with the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) for Personal Protective Equipment.

A number of companies in his name also received payments, with almost R50 million going to various bank accounts. But the red flags were raised when things did not add up with the tax man.

According to the judgement, the following was estimated by SARS as the likely revenue and what was due from tax liability and VAT:

The Judge did not hold back

“The delinquency in the rendering of tax returns is an obvious and strong indication that the taxpayer is, at best, irresponsible and, at worst, is hiding income. When that conduct occurs over several years the inference of deliberate resistance to the payment of tax due becomes even stronger,” noted Judge Sutherland.

“The diversion of huge sums of money among various businesses supports the inference of them all being mere alter egos of one person and implies, strongly, that shady dealings are likely.”

“The spendthrift behaviour of Ndlovu; That 5 luxury cars acquired, at virtually one go, is evidence of consumption on a grand scale and gives rise to the inference that the assets under his control are unlikely to be deployed to the fiscus and are more likely to be devoted to immediate and extravagant gratification of material wants depleting what is available to pay tax liabilities, present and future.”

Ndlovu has been trending on Twitter since the news broke on Wednesday, with many feeling as though it serves him right:

 

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