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Prevailing Securities gives BURS an ultimatum

Prevailing Securities

Prevailing Securities which is currently placed under Judicial Management, has through its attorneys written to the Commissioner General of Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) on July 7th 2020, seeking that the P82 million tax assessment for both VAT and Income they were slapped with in early 2019 be re-visited as agreed failure of which they will approach the High Court for review.

In a letter penned by Serole and Partners, Shadrack Baaitse who is the owner of Prevailing Securities said the Income Tax Assessment according to BURS letter dated 30th January 2019, was based on all deposits held at First National Bank, Bank Gaborone and Standard Chartered Bank in the company accounts.

He noted that these deposits were treated as “income” by BURS and business “turnover” as they were coming from the “company customers”. Baaitse said the explanation given for treating the income as turnover was that the company had failed to provide records demanded on numerous occasions.

“It is to be noted that, the company has always provided documents needed by your office,’’ said Baaitse. “Client instructs us that upon receipt of notice of assessment in the total sum of P81, 766, 882, 46 (VAT and Income Tax inclusive) it submitted a detailed list and/or account of matters which were not taken into consideration when they ought to have been at the time of assessment.’’

Serole and Partners write that on numerous occasions, both telephonically and in person through its Directors and Judicial Manager, they attended to BURS to request for reassessment.

“You have on a number of occasions promised to attend to the reassessment on the submitted information but all has been futile,” the lawyers stated.

The lawyers said that in their opinion the client’s request and demand is not unreasonable as it makes it difficult for the client to lodge a substantive objection without a reassessment as promised, which would incorporate the submitted information and reflect how the amount claimed was arrived at.

“Interestingly, despite demands from Client to do a reassessment you have proceeded to attach and seize client’s monies from its creditor’s property and even failed to pay employees’ salaries. Your acts have as a result crippled business to an extent that Client has not been running,” they said.

The attorneys alleged that further to demonstrate mala fide, the tax master, contrary to the judicial management orders, deliberately continued with his acts aforementioned.

Prevailing Securities once again demanded for the reassessment as agreed and as of today (July 16), BURS has not responded to their letter. “It is our intention to be tax- compliant and we have no intention of not paying what is due to the taxman. However, it should be noted that, the VAT and Income Tax Assessment by yourself makes erroneous assumption.

“First it fails to recognize inter- banking transfers by the company by treating such transfers as payments and income from customers, when in fact and in truth, this is not income or turnover.

“Secondly, the assessment treats the so called income as net profit as well as gross profit for levying tax, without taking into account expenses.

“Thirdly, the assessment has included loans from financial institutions, obtained by the company for purposes of running the business as income or turn-over from customers,” the lawyers contended.

According to the letter, these are some of the errors made by BURS, which have been previously brought to their attention. “You have chosen to deliberately ignore such concerns and proceed to impose extreme penalties on amounts done and payable resulting in the collapse of the business.

“That, you acted mala fide is evident from letters and execution. Client received Notice of Assessment on the 30th January 2019 without being provided with the findings of the Assessment. The next day, 31st January 2019, you attended to execute our client’s property” they said.

The letter also provide that on the objection, client filed with BURS, the difference between what is owed is less than P4, 000.00 as opposed to their P80, 000.00. On account of the above, client urgently requires a reassessment of both the Income Tax and VAT.

“Given the history of the communication between the parties should client not hear from you by the 15th July 2020, on its request for reassessment client will approach the High Court for review and set aside of your assessment,” read the letter.

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021
Morwaeng

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021
Bokamoso

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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