South Africa

JERENIQUE BAYARD

Businessman linked to SAPS corruption guilty of not submitting tax returns

The South African Police Service (SAPS) outside the Cape Town Magistrates' Court on 3 May 2021. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

Jerenique Bayard, who appeared in that infamous photograph alongside top SA Police Service (SAPS) supply chain members kitted out in Manchester United football T-shirts at Old Trafford, has pleaded guilty to not paying his tax. 

Bayard, the one-time project director at Unisys, is alleged to have paid nearly R800,000 for renovations to be done to the property of the SAPS Technology Management Services head, Lieutenant-General Adeline Shezi.

Bayard appeared in the Hatfield Magistrates’ Court in Pretoria on Tuesday. In accordance with a plea and sentence agreement, he pleaded guilty to having not submitted personal tax returns from 2012 to 2020. 

Jerenique Bayard has pleaded guilty to not paying his tax. He appeared in the Hatfield magistrate’s court in Pretoria on Tuesday 15 March 2022. (Photo: Supplied)

He was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment, suspended for five years, and fined R25,000. Bayard had owed the SA Revenue Service (SARS) R2,663,643.99 and had failed to submit his tax returns even after the revenue service sent a “courtesy” demand on 18 March 2021. 

According to the agreement, it was his alleged involvement with Shezi that resulted in SARS taking a closer look at his tax affairs. An Investigating Directorate investigation found that Shezi had bought a property in 2015 and was in the process of rebuilding it when Bayard, an SAPS service provider, made payments towards the renovations of the property totalling R793,059.75. 

The investigation found that between 31 March 2015 and 2 July 2017, tenders awarded to Bayard’s company totalled R6,146,289.85. The approval for these tenders rested with Shezi. The lieutenant-general, her nephew the businessman Tshepo Khoza and his sister Mathilda Khoza are facing charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering. 

These charges, according to the National Prosecuting Authority, relate to allegations that Shezi used a service provider and family members to assist in renovating her property. She then assisted her relatives and the service provider to score contracts.

Shezi is one of a number of top SAPS members arrested for corruption in recent years. Included in this list are former acting Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and Deputy Commissioner Bonang Mgwenya. 

Then there was the photograph. 

In 2017, Tim Brauteseth, a forensic investigator and DA politician, produced the picture that showed Bayard together with two SAPS members – a Colonel Arendt and a Brigadier Masuku – and Keith Keating, the director of Forensic Data Analysts (FDA). Bayard allegedly supplied forensic equipment to the SAPS through FDA. 

A trip that included football tickets, personalised Manchester United T-shirts with their names on the back and a visit to the Trophy Room of the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester was allegedly meant as a sweetener by Bayard to get Shezi to favour Unisys and FDA. 

The picture was taken in 2011. 

The plea agreement stated that the negative publicity that arose over the dodgy tender allegations meant that Bayard was unable to renew contracts with the SAPS. The publicity also “attracted attention to the accused’s personal and company tax affairs”. 

Included in what Bayard owes is an administrative penalty of R130,312.34.  

The agreement said that Bayard had now submitted his tax returns. DM

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