Appeal dismissed and sentence confirmed for fraudster, Durban High (Appeal) Court

Appeal dismissed and sentence confirmed for fraudster, Durban High (Appeal) Court

The Durban High Court (Appeal Court) has dismissed the appeal on the sentence by Sharitha Hariram (57) and confirmed the 10 years imprisonment that she was sentenced to in September 2020. Hariram was convicted of fraud and theft amounting to over R2.7 million. The incidents around her case are as follows: she was granted special authority to represent racehorse owners who were not registered for VAT (Value Added Tax). This permitted her to register as a VAT vendor and submit a combined VAT return to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) on behalf of the racehorse owners under her registration. During the VAT periods of October 2011 to August 2012 where she submitted to the SARS, she made fraudulent claims for VAT allegedly expended by these racehorse owners to the value of over R2 million. In addition, she did not pay two racehorse owners a sum of over R700 000 which was refunded by the SARS.

She was arrested after the SARS conducted an intensive investigation that detected the crimes. Investigations also revealed that a few racehorse owners mentioned by Hariram did not exist, while others did not incur the VAT expense as claimed by her. Following her sentencing, the court granted Hariram leave to appeal. However, on Friday 17 November 2023, the appeal court dismissed her application and confirmed her original effective sentence of 10 years imprisonment. Senior State Advocate, Selvan Govender represented the state in both the trial and appeal proceedings.

The NPA welcomes the findings of the appeal court. Offences of this nature hurt the country’s fiscus. The prejudice suffered by SARS could have been used by government to finance its social, infrastructural, and economic responsibilities. We trust that this sentence will have the necessary deterrent effect on like-minded people.


Issued by,


Natasha Ramkisson-Kara

NPA Regional Spokesperson

KZN Division

Enquiries: / 0716700229

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